February 2, 2023

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Kapawale advised to get legal counsel

Tevita Qaqa Kapawale

Alleged murderer Tevita Qaqa Kapawale has been given a second chance to secure legal counsel.

Kapawale represented himself before Judge Justice Daniel Goundar after letting go of Suva lawyer Nemani Tuifagalele.

Kapawale claimed that Tuifagalele had been paid by the two complainants and would not be a fair counsel.

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Kapawale is not in a financial position to get private counsel and told the court that he doesn’t want to be represented by Legal Aid either.

Justice Goundar told Kapawale that it is highly desirable for him to secure legal counsel given the seriousness of the charges against him.

He is charged with five counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder and criminal intimidation.

Kapawale  allegedly murdered five crew members in Fiji Waters while on board the FV Tiro last year.

It is alleged the incident took place on May 18th, 2021, along the Mamanuca-Yasawa waters after a heated exchange between crew members.

It is believed that eight crew members were on-board, including three Indonesian nationals and five Fijians.

There was also an allegation of beheading at sea.

Kapawale’s father was summoned by the judge and was asked about Kapawale’s mental health.

He further told the court that there are no known mental health challenges with the accused and says that he is in a healthy mental state.

The case will be called again on August 12th.

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