Witnesses take the stand
24 September, 2022, 3:03 pm
Naqia villager Joji Matea told the High Court in Suva that he saw a man throw his cousin, Inoke Lagicere, off the Naqia Bridge on April 14, 2020. He said this while giving evidence in the trial of four suspended police officers who were allegedly involved in the incident.
Sevanaia Narogi, Kameli Tukana, Mafoa Korosaya and Inoke Nagata, appeared before High Court judge Justice Siainiu Fa’alogo-Bull yesterday.
Mr Matea said on the day of the alleged incident he was sitting on his porch about 7.30pm when he saw a man walking on the bridge and sitting down.
The man was on his phone but started punching Mr Lagicere when he saw him on the bridge.
Mr Matea also said the man took Mr Lagicere by the collar of his T-shirt and the waist of his pants and flung him over the railing of the bridge.
Mr Matea, who was with Mr Lagicere’s brother, shouted and ran towards the bridge.
He said he saw the same man standing under the bridge “dunking” Mr Lagicere in the water, and talking to a lady at the bus stop on the road who asked where Mr Lagicere was, and the man said he was in the river
. In cross-examination, defence counsel Naomi Raikaci asked Mr Matea if Mr Lagicere would be alive today if he was thrown off the bridge, and he said he could not say.
Ms Raikaci put it to him that he did not see Mr Lagicere being thrown and that Mr Lagicere was resisting arrest on the bridge and jumped off the bridge himself.
The court also heard from Dr Nadita Goundar who said Mr Lagicere was brought to the Korovou Hospital with a deep cut across the second, third and fourth fingers on his right hand.
Dr Goundar took a picture of the wound so she could get an opinion from a surgeon at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital and said she organised an ambulance to take Mr Lagicere to CWM Hospital for surgery.
Ms Raikaci said the picture did not have a face and so it could have been anyone’s hand in the picture. The trial continues on Monday.