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Fiji Time: 6:19 AM on Sunday 20 April

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Counsel withdraws services

Shalveen Chand
Saturday, February 15, 2014

ASERI Vakaloloma, the lawyer representing a man charged with murder, told the High Court in Suva yesterday people were reluctant to come forward to act as interpreters.

He said it was because of claims that the act allegedly committed by his client was an assassination.

Mr Vakaloloma's client Yang Xian Jong is charged with one count of murder.

Mr Vakaloloma told the court he had not been able to find a Chinese person willing to go to prison with him to interpret for his client.

He said everybody he had talked to was scared and claimed the case was one of assassination.

Mr Vakaloloma said communication wasn't taking place and he had no instructions from the accused, therefore he was withdrawing as counsel. The court asked Mr Vakaloloma if he had been paid. He replied that he hadn't.

Mr Yang then handed a letter written in Chinese to the court interpreter. The court was informed the accused wanted representation from the Legal Aid Commission as he could not afford a lawyer.

The court was also informed Mr Yang wanted his airline ticket refunded as well. The court allowed Mr Vakaloloma to withdraw as counsel.