Court told scuffle led to brawl

Tamani Dogolau, second from left, and Ilikimi Kurusiga (second from right) outside the Suva Magistrates Court on Friday, June 24, 2022. Picture: IAN CHUTE

A scuffle at a drinking party is believed to have led to the brawl at McFarlane Rd in Raiwai, Suva last Sunday.

The Suva Magistrates Court heard this when Ilikimi Kurusiga and Tamani Dogolau who are alleged to have been involved in the brawl were produced before Resident Magistrate Seini Puamau, charged with incitement to violence and disobedience of the law under Order 16 of the Public Order Act 1976.

Police prosecutor Police Constable (PC) Monish Chandra told the court a group from the McFarlane Rd PRB flats were having a party and a youth from the PRB flats at Mead Rd joined the group.

A scuffle broke out following an argument, the youth left the party and returned to Mead Rd.

The court heard the Mead Rd youth came back with his group — which allegedly included the two accused – armed with iron rods, knives and other weapons and attacked the McFarlane Rd group.

PC Chandra said the State objected to bail on the grounds that the two accused were only part of the group, most of whom were still at large.

He said if the accused were to be released on bail, it may worsen the tension in the community and that police were facing difficulty in keeping the peace.

He also told the court that following last Sunday’s brawl, students from McFarlane Rd and Mead Rd at Suva Grammar School brawled over the same issue, and another brawl between students occurred at McFarlane Rd — also over the same issue.

PC Chandra said the accused were identified in CCTV footage and by eyewitness accounts, adding there was strong evidence against both accused.

Ms Puamau proposed the matter be adjourned and the accused remanded in custody over the weekend so a full bail hearing could be heard next week where the parties could make submissions on the issues pertaining to the release of both accused on bail.

The matter was adjourned and will be called on Monday for hearing, and the accused further remanded in custody.

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