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"Judgment does not end here" for soldiers found guilty

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, March 18, 2009) – Alanieta Rabaka is at peace. Months of sleepless nights brought on by crippling grief eased off the past week as her son's murder trial came closer to an end.

Deeply religious, she refers to the Bible as the Book of Books.

She has reached out to it for comfort, strength, courage, patience and sanity ever since that fateful night of January 28, 2007 when 19-year-old Sakiusa was arrested along with a group of friends.

And yesterday she turned the media attention to the holy book after eight soldiers and a former policeman blamed for her son's death, were handed a four year sentence by the High Court in Lautoka.

As far as she is concerned, the dust has not settled for those responsible for her son's death.

"Judgment does not end here. We are all believers and they (accused) know what I am talking about," the 49-year-old mother of four said.

The hotel worker and her family fasted every Thursday for seven months last year and she said prayers and faith in God helped speed up the healing process.

Mrs. Rabaka went out in search of Sakiusa on the night he was apprehended and only returned home after 1am the next day after officers at the Namaka Police Station turned down her request to see her son.

She stayed up until 5.30am when he crawled into their home injured.

"I took leave from work since the trial started. Tomorrow I'll report back to work."

"It was difficult at first and while it is still very painful, I have accepted what has happened. Life has to go on, and the punishment really is left in the hands of the Lord," she said.

Rabaka said she was glad the case was over as it was exhausting.

She was thankful to her husband, children, friends, church members and the general public for their prayers and words of encouragement and support during the investigation and the trial.

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