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Fiji Time: 12:42 AM on Thursday 21 August

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Rape and murder ruled out

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Thursday, June 26, 2014

THE Director of Public Prosecutions has ruled out allegations of rape and murder in the death of Sereima Berwick Degei at Nabouciwa Village in Tailevu in 2007.

In a statement yesterday, DPP Christopher Pryde said Sereima's death was a result of suicide.

"Following an extensive police investigation into the death of Sereima Berwick following an inquest into her death in November last year, and a thorough review of the evidence by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, it is clear that this is a tragic case of suicide," Mr Pryde said.

"It is also clear that the findings of the initial police investigation in 2007 that Sereima Berwick's death was a result of suicide were correct.

"The police are to be commended for their thoroughness in completing this investigation."

Mr Pryde said there was absolutely no evidence to support the claims made at the inquest that Sereima was raped and murdered by three men.

He added that accordingly, no charges would be laid against the persons named at the inquest.

"There is evidence, however, that certain people may have conspired to pervert the course of justice and fabricate evidence.

"These allegations are being investigated and a decision on this will be made by the Director of Public Prosecutions in due course."

He said all official correspondence on this case was to be addressed to the DPP.

The DPP said this matter served as a reminder to the community at large to leave investigations to the proper authorities.

"Any attempt by people to interfere with police investigations or court proceedings by falsifying evidence will result in criminal proceedings with severe penalties on conviction."


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