Court warns accused officers

Police officers Simione Basulu (front),Inspector Apisalome Vesikula and Orisi Tukana outside the Suva court yesterday. Picture: RAMA

The Suva Magistrates Court yesterday issued a stern warning to five police officers accused of planting drugs in a vehicle against interfering with State witnesses while on bail.

Rusiate Tuga Ralase, Simione Basulu, Apisalome Vesikula, Samuela Antonio and Orisi Tukana appeared under heavy police presence yesterday and were kept at the juvenile bureau building.

The five are charged with one count of conspiracy to defeat justice while Mr Ralase and Mr Basulu face an additional charge of one count of abuse of office.

State lawyer Saif Shah did not object to bail and told the court the prosecution would be able to compile the disclosures and serve the five today.

Suva magistrate Jeremaia Savou granted the accused $500 personal bail bond and cautioned them against committing any offence.

The five allegedly planted a small, clear bag containing methamphetamine in the back of a 23-year-old man’s car.

Mr Ralase and Mr Basulu were alleged to have arrested the complainant without any lawful basis.

The matter was brought to light after a report was lodged by the victim.

Charges sanctioned by the Director of Public Prosecutions were laid after investigations by the Criminal Investigations Department.

The case has been adjourned to April 23.

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