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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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No Bail For Man Involved In Fiji Boy’s Death
Pilot’s rifle allegedly used to shoot six year-old

By Repeka Nasiko

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 30, 2013) – Pilot Mohammed Rizwan Khan has been refused bail by the Lautoka Magistrates Court for offences relating to the death of six-year old Mohammed Khubayb Salman Khan last weekend in Fiji.

Appearing before Magistrate Sujeewa Nishanka, Mr. Khan was charged with one count of failure to maintain arms in a safe and secure custody and one count of manslaughter by negligence or breach of duty.

While ruling on Mr. Khan's bail application by his lawyer Vishal Pillay, Magistrate Nishanka said firearms-related offences were very serious and would not be taken lightly.

Magistrate Nishanka ruled in favor of divisional prosecuting officer Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Anil Prasad who strongly objected to Mr. Khan being granted bail.

ASP Anil argued that the accused would interfere with police investigations and witnesses because he was related to some of them.

However, Mr. Khan's lawyer argued that his client would adhere to any strict bail conditions and also proposed that he be imposed with a restraining order. Mr. Pillay also applied for a transfer of the case to the High Court in Lautoka and asked that Mr. Khan's plea be deferred.

The pilot has been remanded in custody and will reappear at the High Court in Lautoka on January 31.

Meanwhile, a juvenile is being investigated by police in relation to the death of New Zealand resident Mohammed Khubayb in Sabeto last Saturday.

Confirming the investigation in court yesterday, divisional prosecuting officer Assistant Superintendent of Police Anil Prasad said the juvenile was the main suspect in the investigation into the young boy's death.

ASP Anil said the investigation was also related to the charging of manslaughter by negligence of the 33-year old pilot.

Mr. Khan is alleged to be the registered owner of the 12 gauge marlin goose rifle that allegedly discharged the bullet that killed the six-year-old.

According to police, the rifle, used mainly for hunting, was licensed to Mr. Khan.

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.
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