Murder accused to stand trial in 2024

Tevita Qaqa Kapawale escorted from the High Court in Suva. Picture: IAN CHUTE/FILE

Alleged high seas murder accused Tevita Qaqa Kapawale will stand trial starting May 20, 2024. The matter was called before High Court judge Justice Daniel Goundar in the High Court at Suva yesterday.

State prosecutor Eoghn Samisoni asked the court if two weeks could be set aside for the trial. Justice Goundar said the court could accommodate a two-week trial beginning on April 12 next year.

Mr Samisoni and defence counsel Timoci Varinava agreed to the date.

Mr Samisoni told the court the prosecution had the defence’s voire dire grounds and was waiting on the additional grounds based on an interview Kapawale gave to a reporter prior to his arrest.

Mr Varinava told the court that at the current stage of the case the defence was only going to call Kapawale to give evidence at the trial.

The matter was adjourned, and the matter will be called for a final pre-trial conference on April 12, 2024.

Kapawale was charged with the murders of Benjamin Semuel Mattaputty, Eme Warma, Alfat Kodri, Samuela Sukera and Qiritavabea Cagilabakomeli, the attempted murder of Kaminieli Vucago and criminally intimidating Mitieli Cama, while aboard the fishing boat MV Tiro II in May 2021.

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