THE Lautoka Magistrates Court has ruled that the whole proceedings in its current form, manner and nature against a 10-year-old charged with manslaughter are a nullity and of no legal effect.
And Magistrate Mosese Naivalu ordered that all property seized of the juvenile must be released forthwith and any bail conditions terminated forthwith.
Mr Naivalu said the State did not satisfy section 27 (2) of the Crimes Decree 2009 that 'the question whether a child knows that his or her conduct is wrong is one of the fact. The burden of proving this is on the prosecution'.
"The effect therefore on this misconception is that therefore there are no formal charges ultimately filed before this court since the State has not satisfied Section 27(2) above," he said.
He said there was even admission by the State lawyer, Seini Puamau that the juvenile still thought the deceased child was still alive.
Mr Naivalu said the State's second application on a psychiatric assessment of the juvenile was also misconceived because it was not fulfilling the particular section of the decree.
The court favoured arguments presented by defence lawyer Iqbal Khan.