Villager claims police brutality

Osia Delailoma shows pictures and a Fiji Police medical examination report of his grandson's injuries at Nadonumai settlement in Delainavesi yesterday. JONA KONATACI

A VILLAGER accused of planting marijuana alleges he was kicked by police officers wearing boots.

Seru Kolinio, 22, claims he was a victim of police brutality on June 9 at Naroi Village on Moala Island, when a group of officers accused him of having in his possession marijuana.

Mr Kolinio’s grandfather Osia Delailoma, who arrived from Moala last week, has lodged an official complaint with the Fiji Police Force.

Mr Delailoma said the officers asked him on the whereabouts of his grandson after they were led to believe he cultivated marijuana on his farm.

Mr Delailoma said it was about 10am when six officers surrounded his house and arrested his grandson.

Speaking in the iTaukei language, he said he asked them to take his grandson for questioning and not to hurt him.

He said he specifically made the request after police officers asked Mr Kolinio twice where he kept the marijuana.

Mr Delailoma said when his grandson maintained his innocence, one of the officers threatened to assault him in front of his family.

Mr Delailoma claimed the officers took him that Saturday morning and was only allowed to return home the next day when they could not find any drugs on him.

A medical report sighted by this newspaper stated that when Mr Kolinio was seen by the medical officer in charge, Dr Kitione Salele, who conducted the examination, he said he appeared to be in a distraught state and was in pain.

In Dr Salele’s professional opinion, as stated in the medical examination form, the cause of injuries was because of blunt trauma afflicted on the patient, which was consistent with a blunt object.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed a report had been lodged with police and the Internal Affairs Unit was investigating the matter.

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