Suspended Police Officer Claims Brutality; Bailed
A suspended Police officer yesterday claimed in court that she was physically and verbally abused by a fellow officer during her arrest. Susmita Aradhna Devi, 21, appeared before Magistrate Liyanage
Susmita Aradhna Devi outside the Magistrates Court in Suva on January 22, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar
A suspended Police officer yesterday claimed in court that she was physically and verbally abused by a fellow officer during her arrest.
Susmita Aradhna Devi, 21, appeared before Magistrate Liyanage Wickramasekara yesterday at the Magistrates Court in Suva.
She is charged with one count each of unlawful possession of controlled equipment and of unlawful use of illicit drugs.
Defence lawyer, Jitend Reddy, told the magistrate that his client was allegedly slapped and punched by a Police Sergeant during the time of her arrest.
Mr Reddy said the Police Sergeant had allegedly shouted at the accused, threatened her and refused to hear her out when she tried to explain her situation.
He said the accused had informed the Police officer that the items were not in her possession and were in the possession of two others living in a flat upstairs.
Mr Reddy further claimed in court that an officer at the station further pressured the accused and on many occasions threatened her with a closed fist.
Magistrate Wickramasekara had made the notes of the claims by the defence lawyer on the court record file. Devi was granted bail with strict conditions.
It is alleged that on January 2 at Samabula, Devi without lawful authority had in her possession controlled equipment, apparatus knowing that the apparatus is to be used for the administration of an illicit drug.
It is also alleged that on January 3 at Nasese, Devi without lawful authority had in her urine evidence of the use of illicit drugs namely methamphetamine.
A raid was conducted at the accused’s house where Police officers allegedly found one broken pipe believed to be used for smoking methamphetamine, two small empty zip lock plastic bags believed to contain methamphetamine – all seized inside a container beside Devi’s mattress.
It is also alleged that a Samsung J1 Ace mobile phone, iPhone 5 mobile phone, iPhone 6 Plus mobile phone and a Nokia mobile phone were also found at Devi’s residence.
Devi’s urine test was conducted which tested positive for traces of methamphetamine.
Police prosecutor Corporal Luke Qerewaqa served the full phase of disclosures to the defence lawyer.
He did not object to bail and told the court that the accused was a first offender.
Her lawyer, Mr Reddy told the court that the accused was willing to pay a cash bail, surrender her passport to the court and move to live with her mother in Labasa, who is one of her sureties.
Devi was granted a cash bail of $1000 with two sureties who signed a bail bond of $1000 each.
She was ordered to reside in Labasa and report to the Labasa Police Station every Saturday between 8am and 4pm. She was also ordered not to reoffend while on bail and not to interfere with any of the prosecution witnesses.
Devi was also ordered to surrender her passport on the next court date and the Immigration Department to be notified on the same.
The case was adjourned to February 6 for mention.
Edited by Caroline Ratucadra
Published at Wed, 22 Jan 2020 14:32:00 +0000