Teen’s murder case: Defence requests for photograph of alleged murder weapon

Samuel Naicker escorted by police in an earlier court appearance. Picture: IAN CHUTE/FT FILE

The defence in the case of Samuel Naicker is requesting photographs of the lace he was alleged to have used to strangle his 17-year-old friend at a house in Makoi on May 27.

The matter was called at the High Court in Suva before Justice Siainiu Fa’alogo-Bull last week.

State prosecutor from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Zenith Zunaid told the court that the State had filed and served the information and disclosures in the matter on Wednesday and that the accused was being charged with one count of murder.

When he was first produced, Mr Naicker was also charged with two counts of theft.

Mr Zunaid said the State submitted 23 witness statements and the only thing pending was the post-mortem report which the police were yet to provide.

“The State has also disclosed the medical cause of death certificate which states that the victim has allegedly died from asphyxia due to ligature strangulation,” he said.

“We have disclosed everything except the post-mortem report, however, the death certificate is present in the disclosures.”

Mr Naicker’s Legal Aid lawyer Lavinia David confirmed receipt of the information and disclosures.

Ms David asked if photographs of the lace that was allegedly used to strangle the deceased could also be disclosed to the defence along with the post-mortem results.

Justice Fa’alogo-Bull asked if the lace was the item which the medical cause of death certificate specified as the cause of death.

Mr Zunaid rose and responded in the affirmative that the defence was requesting the photographs to ascertain whether the lace was indeed found around the deceased neck and that the photographs would be provided to the defence.

Justice Fa’alogo-Bull asked if the photographs requested were just of the lace in question and Ms David responded in the affirmative and that she did not think it would be possible for the prosecution to release the lace itself, but with the photographs Mr Naicker could be advised.

Mr Zunaid asked if the State could be given two weeks to follow up with the police on the post-mortem report and that the State would ensure that it was filed and served.

He also said in the event that the police did not uplift the post-mortem report, he would inform the court and the defence in writing.

Ms David said the case file was initially allocated to the Nasinu office of the Legal Aid Commission, but was being forwarded to the Suva office as Mr Naicker requested a Hindi-speaking lawyer.

Justice Bull adjourned the matter to July 12 (2022).

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