The War Horse Saloon Bar manager, Ronald Vudui and Bar Attendant Jackson Willie both entered not guilty pleas to charges laid against them in the alleged murder of the late Maraki Robson on the night of June 24, 2017.
The duo appeared before the Supreme Court this week.
Vudui, 40, denied one charge of intentional homicide contrary to section 106 (1) (a) of the Penal Code Act [CAP 135], with an additional charge of intentional assault against section 107 (d) also of the Act.
Willie, 30, is facing one count of complicity to intentional homicide charge under section 106 (1) (a) and 30 of the Penal Code.
He was also charged with one count of complicity to intentional assault contrary to section 107 (d) and 30 of the Penal Code.
The Public Prosecutor is alleging that after the attack, the police was called to the crime scene and when they were querying about the matter, Vudui came outside and told the officers that he assaulted late Robson without knowing that the deceased was about to draw his final breath.
The deceased was allegedly at Saloon Bar on early hours of June 24, drinking and waiting for his girlfriend who is a waitress there.
The Prosecution alleged that at around 3am, the deceased’s girlfriend clocked off and left the bar with late Robson and three other friends.
They alleged that after some arguments along the road, the deceased’s girlfriend ran back to the bar and told Vudui and Willie that she was bashed by her boyfriend.
It was further alleged that Vudui told the cashier to call the police and got took his White Nissan Patrol Truck with the co-defendant and two other Saloon Bar staff members and went after the deceased who was on foot.
The prosecution case alleged that the defendants found Robson on a dirt road near the Ramada Resort before they got off the truck and started questioning him.
They said that Robson should go back with them to the Bar to apologize to his girlfriend but he allegedly swore at them and rushed to fight one of the men who came together with the defendants.
“The deceased then tried to punch defendant Willie and he retaliated by punching him but missed, lost his balance and felled on the dirt,” the Prosecution alleged.
“It was then that Vudui got out of the truck and engaged in a fist fight with the deceased.
“During the fight, most punches landed on the deceased’s head and body, and he fought him until he felled on the ground,” it was alleged.
The prosecution alleged that the men grabbed late Robson and threw him behind the truck, put some garbage bags on top of him and took him back to War Horse Saloon. They said police attended the scene, due to the earlier call made by the cashier and saw the deceased behind the truck beneath the garbage.
An employee allegedly removed the garbage and found Robson lying face down. His face was covered with blood.
The Prosecution alleged that Vudui confirmed at the scene that he assaulted the deceased because he already lost a staff member a week earlier.
They said that the police then transported late Robson at Vila Central Hospital (VCH) where Doctor Oten and intern Doctor Sylvie Taribiti were on duty and received the body at around 4:15am.
According to the Doctors’ report at the time of the incident, Robson had bulky hermatoma and there was a bleeding from his nose. They said that he was unstable and deteriorating at that stage.
“They gave him three shots of adrenaline and performed CPR on him but he did not responded to the treatments,” the Prosecution said.
“This went for 25 minutes until Robson was pronounced dead at 4:40am”.
But the pathologist report confirmed through an external observation that the victim sustained a haemorrhage in both conjunctivas of the eyes and the side of his left and right eyes were swollen, his nose was also swollen with dried blood in his nostrils.
The internal report of the pathologist that will be used as evidence against Vudui and Willie also confirmed that there was a bleeding and blood clots under the covering of the skull and the bleedings were also found in the left frontal and left parietal and the back of his skull.
The report claimed that there was also some bleeding on the outer covering of the brain and the brain was swollen.
The Public Prosecutor said that a conclusion made by the pathologist was that the haemorrhage and hematoma were due to blunt force to the head and were the main contributing factors that resulted in death.
The prosecution said that when the police asked them about the night, Vudui agreed that there were some exchanges of the punches that led to the victim felt on the ground while Willie confirmed that he was with his bar manager.
The case was adjourned for a pre–trial conference before a trial date will be set in days to come.