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A first for Fiji's court

Shalveen Chand
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

APETE Kaisau, who admitted killing two men in their Tamavua home 13 years ago, has made an unprecedented application to be released from the custody of St Giles Hospital.

Mr Kaisau's lawyer and Legal Aid Commission director Sunil Sharma made the application in the High Court in Suva yesterday.

Mr Kaisau was never convicted of the murders of Red Cross boss John Scott and Gregory Scrivener on grounds of insanity.

"This is a very important case for this country. In the judgement of Justice Nazhat Shameem, it was admitted Mr Kaisau killed the two men," said High Court Judge Salesi Temo.

"He was discharged on the grounds of insanity. Now there is an application for the commital warrant to be lifted.

"This is a first of its kind legal matter before our courts brought under the Mental Health Decree," said Justice Temo.

The court had ruled Mr Kaisau suffered from schizophrenia, a mental disorder that caused delusion and hallucination.

The two were killed in Scott's Tamavua home on July 1, 2001.

Mr Sharma told the court Mr Kaisau's application was being made under the Mental Health Decree.

He said the President had signed a committal warrant for Mr Kaisau.

Yesterday, Mr Sharma said the application was being made for the warrant to be removed and for Mr Kaisau to be allowed to stay with his family.

Mr Sharma told the High Court Mr Kaisau has been cured.

However, State prosecutor Vincent Perera said more time was needed for them to respond to the application.

Justice Temo told Mr Perera the burden was now on the State.

He told the State prosecution to provide precedent of cases of similar nature from Britain and other Commonwealth jurisdictions.

He said the court wanted to know the procedures and steps taken when releasing such a person into the community.

The prosecution has been given six weeks to respond.

A hearing date for the application will be fixed later.


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