FIJI MILITARY SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN CIVILIAN DEATH

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Oct. 29) - Eight Fiji military officers and a police officer have been charged with the murder of 19-year-old Sakiusa Rabaka.

They are Patrick Nayacalagilagi, Taione Lua, Ulaiasi Radike, Etonia Nadura, Ratunaisa Toutou, Joeli Lesavua, Jona Nareki, Ilaisa Kurimavua and Napolioni Naulia.

The charges were laid by the office of the Director of Public Prosecution and the suspects are due to appear in the Nadi Magistrates court on November 23.

It is understood the nine were part of the 223-contingent bound for a peacekeeping mission in Iraq on Saturday night but had to be offloaded from an airplane following a court order.

A statement from the DPP’s office said they had been facing difficulties in processing the suspects.

It said the decision taken was in the interest of justice and in the public interest. Neither the military nor the police have commented on the matter.

Rabaka died of brain hemorrhage early this year after he was picked up by soldiers and police in Nadi on suspicions of peddling drugs.

He was the second civilian who allegedly died in the hands of soldiers since the December 5 takeover last year.

The first was Nimilote Verebasaga of Tailevu who died after allegedly being beaten up at the army camp.

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