The man accused of the murder of a single mum in Ba early this week appeared in the Ba Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Nazim Shiraz Ali, 32, an engineer of Yalalevu, appeared before Magistrate Mosese Naivalu charged with one count of murder.
Dressed in black jeans and a black round neck Tee-shirt, and wearing slip-on footwear, Ali hung his head most of the time during the hearing.
His face bore burn marks which were clearly visible and still healing, and the right palm of his hand was bandaged, also from the burns he suffered.
Ali is alleged to have murdered Susana Vakaloloma, 27, on Saturday, May 7, at his home.
No plea was taken as the offence was indictable. Magistrate Naivalu referred the case to the High Court in Lautoka where Ali will appear again on May 27 for mention.
A packed courtroom, which included relatives of Ali, waited as he was escorted under heavy Police guard.
Ali agreed with Magistrate Naivalu that he had been seen by a doctor at the Ba Mission Hospital, before he was taken into custody and just before appearing in court.
He will undergo a review of his burns on May 16. He remains in custody at the Natabua Remand Centre.
Ali’s lawyer, Jasveel Singh, said they would challenge the caution interview by Police in the High Court.
Statement By Nazim’s Neighbour
CHANDRA Kishore heard his neighbour’s cries for help and immediately ran to his aid.
He found neighbour Nazim, whom he knew little about, in his back yard, “his face and hands burnt”.
Mr Kishore said he saw Nazim burning something, but did not know what it was because he was more concerned about taking him to the hospital.
When a team from this newspaper met him at Yalalevu in Ba yesterday afternoon, he was still reeling from news that the “something” was what police have alleged to be the dismembered body of Nazim’s de facto partner.
“I was working out in my garden at around midday Monday when I heard him scream for help,” Mr Kishore said.
“He was burnt and asking for my help so I put him in my van and took him to the hospital.”
He said once at the hospital, medical staff took injured Nazim in.
“That was the last time I saw him.”
It was not until some 24 hours later that Mr Kishore learned that the body of Nazim’s partner had been found in plastic bags inside their home.
“I was shocked,” he said.
“I didn’t think that he was capable of doing something like that.
He said the couple had been renting in the large double storey house, but were hardly at home.