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Men jailed, witness fears for her life

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, February 09, 2018

TWO men were found guilty and jailed by the High Court in Lautoka for their involvement in the events that led to the death of a Nadi man in 2014.

Mataiasi Ului, 34, was convicted of one count of murder and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and Maikeli Loko, 35, was found guilty of one count of manslaughter by assessors and sentenced by Justice Paul Madigan for their involvement in the brutal assault on Vasuwedan Naidu in Nawaicoba, Nadi on April 14, 2014.

During the court proceedings, it was revealed the assault happened at the home of the proprietor of a company they all worked for after the deceased was probed about rumours of black magic.

Mr Naidu was hit on the legs by Loko and then lifted up and thrown head first into the ground by Ului, resulting in a skull fracture and bleeding around the brain.

He was initially admitted at the Nadi Hospital and then transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at the Lautoka Hospital where he succumbed to injuries and died on April 14, 2014.

The victim's daughter, Manisha Devi, said while she was pleased the matter had finally been given closure, she and her family felt they had been denied justice.

"Four people were initially charged and when my father was dumped outside our driveway after the assault, in his weak state he told us that all four were involved in the attack," the 19-year-old student claimed.

"My dad never performed black magic and everyone in our community knows him very well.

"He was tricked into going to the business owners house on April 14 and when he got there, they bashed him up and then left him on our driveway instead of taking him to the hospital.

"How could they do something like that?

"We all live in a very small community and I fear for my life because I was a witness during the trial and the other two accused who were acquitted are close family.

"There is a lot of tension in our community and family because of what has happened."

Two other accused persons were acquitted of all charges during the trial.

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