Gun owner in court over boy's death

Last updated 05:00 30/01/2013

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The man who owns the rifle involved in the shooting death of a six-year-old New Zealand boy in Fiji has appeared in court on manslaughter and firearms charges.

Mohammad Rizwan Khan, a 34-year-old pilot, appeared before the Lautoka Magistrates Court after six-year-old Mohammed Khubeb Khan and a 14-year-old cousin Mohammed Nabil Khan were hit by a bullet as they were playing.

The six-year-old boy was pronounced dead on arrival at Lautoka Hospital, while Nabil has undergone surgery and was in a serious condition.

The incident happened on Saturday when the boys were in a vehicle where the gun was, The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reported. Khan had a gun licence that allowed him to shoot wild pigs and goats.

He has been remanded in custody to appear in again in court on Thursday.

Fiji police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said in a statement they were questioning the 14-year-old along with his parents.

The Fiji Times reported the boy's family had arrived in Fiji three weeks ago to help build a home in the Sabeto Highlands in the west of Viti Levu.

A relative, Mohammed Nasir Khan, told the newspaper the family had just completed the home on Saturday.

"All our relatives had been invited for the opening of the new home," he said.

"Sadly we are no longer rejoicing but mourning the death of young Khubeb.

"Khubeb is the only boy in his family and he will be sadly missed by all of us. The family now reside in Auckland but always visited the country on many occasions."

The Fiji Times said the family were cleaning up around the house when they heard the gunshot.

They rushed to the scene and found the two boys on the ground with bullet wounds.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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