Ten-year-old guilty of manslaughter in Fiji

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 18:16 17/07/2013

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A Fiji court has found a 10-year-old boy guilty of the manslaughter of a 6-year-old New Zealand child killed in a shooting last year.

The 10-year-old's father has been ordered to pay F$2500 (NZ$1680) court costs and to ensure the good behaviour of the child for seven years until he becomes an adult.

Mohammed Khubeb Khan, 6, of Auckland, and a 14-year-old cousin, Mohammed Nabil Khan, were hit by a bullet as they were playing at a new house on the outskirts of Lautoka in western Fiji last year.

The fatal shot was fired by an unnamed 10-year-old who was playing with a gun owned by his pilot father, Mohammad Rizwan Khan, 34, who used it to shoot wild pigs and goats.

According to various Fiji media sources, the 10-year-old boy has been in the High Court in Lautoka, which is under the control of the country's military regime.

A panel of assessors found the boy guilty and Justice Janaka Bandara, of Sri Lanka, which provides most of the judges in Fiji, ordered the father to pay court costs of F$2500.

Justice Bandara ordered that both the mother and father of the juvenile offender should enter into a bond of F$5000 each to assure the good behaviour of the boy for the next seven years.

The parents and the adults who gathered at the compound where the tragic incident occurred had failed to exercise due care and attention towards their children, including the juvenile offender, Justice Bandara said.

Their grave negligence created a chaotic and catastrophic environment that cost of a life, he said.

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