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Fiji Time: 6:58 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Court rules out suicide

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A six-year mystery over the death of 14-year-old Sereima Berwick Degei at Nabouciwa in Tailevu was put to rest at the Nausori Magistrate's Court yesterday

Magistrate Charles Ratakele handed down his verdict and ruled out suicide declaring the young girl was murdered.

Mr Ratakele delivered his judgment in the inquest yesterday afternoon. Four men were named in court who are most likely to be charged by the Director of the Public Prosecutions for a count of murder each.

The court heard the 14-year-old teen was found hanging from a tree beside her house in Nabouciwa Village on September 7, 2007.

The deceased's relatives are claiming that the young girl was raped and murdered while police had originally ruled the death a suicide.

The courtroom was full of Sereima's relatives and Nabouciwa villagers including her father, grandmother and a heavily protected state witness Eparama Saint John, a 30-year-old, who claimed to have witnessed the rape and murder of Sereima in September 2007.

Mr Ratakele said the DPP and the Attorney-General's chambers would now decide whether to lay murder charges against the four men.