Judiciary

Vasuturaga gets life imprisonment

A 41-year-old man who was charged with one count of murder, one count of manslaughter and one count of attempted murder has been sentenced to life imprisonment at the Suva High Court today. Sitiveni Qio Vasuturaga had been found guilty earlier this week of one count of murder, not guilty of murder but guilty of […]

Salote Qalubau

August 5, 2016 11:30 am

A 41-year-old man who was charged with one count of murder, one count of manslaughter and one count of attempted murder has been sentenced to life imprisonment at the Suva High Court today.

Sitiveni Qio Vasuturaga at the Suva High Court this afternoon. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)
Sitiveni Qio Vasuturaga outside the Suva High Court. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)

Sitiveni Qio Vasuturaga had been found guilty earlier this week of one count of murder, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter, and guilty of  attempted murder of his nephew Jimmy Morrel on August 10th, 2014 in Namuana village, Kadavu.

However, Justice Temo found him not guilty of the third count for the attempted murder of  Vasuturaga’s nephew.

Justice Temo has also ruled that Vasuturaga will have to serve 21 years behind bars after which he will be able to apply for presidential pardon.

While passing down the sentence, Justice Temo told Vasuturaga that he unnecessarily took away the life of his wife who had made a commitment with him for 16 years.

The court also heard that on August 10th, 2014, a dispute broke out between Vasuturaga and his mother-in-law whereby she swore at him repeatedly with his wife joining the dispute. Vasuturaga then stabbed his 37-year-old wife and 60-year-old mother-in-law.

Justice Temo added that the problem that occurred could have been resolved in a peaceful manner.

He said Vasuturaga also did not have the right to take the life of his mother-in-law.

Justice Temo highlighted that the accused had resorted to using extensive violence to solve a domestic problem, showing no regard for the life of his wife and mother-in-law.

Vasuturaga admitted in the trial that he had stabbed his wife and mother-in-law.

Vasuturaga has been given 30 days to appeal his sentence.

A 41-year-old man appeared at the Suva High Court earlier this week charged with one count of murder, one count of manslaughter and one count of attempted murder.

Sitiveni Qio Vasuturaga had allegedly knifed his 37-year-old wife and her 60-year-old mother and attempted to murder Jimmy Morrell after a family dispute in Namuana village, Kadavu on the 10th of August 2014.

Vasuturaga appeared before Judge Justice Salesi Temo who delivered his verdict:

  • One count of murder of Vasuturaga’s wife – Guilty
  • One count of manslaughter of his mother in law – Not Guilty
  • One count of attempting to murder his nephew Jimmy Morrel – Guilty 

For the first count, Justice Temo said he disagreed with the three assessors’ conclusion and that it would be easy for the accused to make “a self-serving statement”.  Vasuturaga had testified he only intended to partially hurt his wife rather than cause her death.

For the second count, Justice Temo said he agreed with the three assessors that the convicted person was not guilty of the manslaughter charge of his mother-in-law.  Justice Temo said he accepted the three assessors’ findings.

The Prosecution requested for a minimum period of 20 to 22 years imprisonment for the first count of murder.

The Defense asked that a minimum term should not be imposed and that the accused posed no threat to the community.  Justice Temo disagreed with this statement and said a message needed to be sent out that violence was not any way to solve a marital dispute.

The matter has been adjourned to the 5th of August for sentencing.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.