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Mother seeks justice

Shalveen Chand
Sunday, July 13, 2014

A MOTHER has spent the past three months looking for justice so she could find out how her grown son died while on a night out in April this year.

Avelina Tuimalabe, 71, clearly remembers the day when police officers from Suva came to pick her husband from their home so he could identify Seremaia Tuimalabe.

The 39-year-old was found unconscious outside a Suva nightclub by police who took him into custody. Mr Tuimalabe is believed to have died on his way to the hospital from the police station.

Mrs Tuimalabe said she went to the police headquarters to enquire about the circumstances of his son's death only to be told that officers were busy.

"After this I went to the Prime Minister last week. He told me that he will ask his people to look into the matter. I am hoping that his words carry more weight than my pleas," said Mrs Tuimalabe.

"I remember that day, it was April 24. A day after my son went with his friends to the funeral of the Marist priest. They came to take my husband to the police station so he could identify our son.

"The police showed no respect to me when I asked them to tell me what had happened to my son and I still haven't heard anything from them."

Mr Tuimalabe's sister, Makareta Tuimalabe, said three months was a long time, adding that her 13-year-old niece wanted to know what happened to her father.

The alleged incident took place outside one of the nightclubs situated close to FBC's Broadcasting House on Carnavan St in Suva.

The nightclub employees who claimed to have seen what had happened spoke to this newspaper on condition of anonymity.

According to them, Seremaia Tuimalabe and his friends — some of them from abroad — were drinking inside the Wrecktangles Nightclub when he had an argument with another man.

They said when Mr Tuimalabe wal­ked out of the nightclub the man followed and punched him once on the face.

They said Mr Tuimalabe fell off the sidewalk and hit his head on the asphalt road.

The nightclub employees said they intervened and took the aggressor back inside, picked Mr Tuimalabe and sat him against the wall on the sidewalk. They said Mr Tuimalabe didn't move but sat there until morning wh­en police came to take him on the presumption he looked drunk and incapable.

Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said their investigations were continuing.

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