Bus driver fronts court

Shalen Jattan escorted by police officers outside the Nausori Magistrate court after a special court sitting on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE owner of the bus involved in an accident that claimed two lives at Lakena No 2 outside Nausori last week had allegedly been calling the driver to tell authorities that there was “no mechanical problem” with the bus.

This was revealed by the bus driver Shalen Jattan’s lawyer Shomal Kant in court yesterday.

Mr Jattan was produced before Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne at the Nausori Magistrates Court yesterday, charged with two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm and one count of dangerous driving.

In court, Ms Kant said police should be in control of who came into contact with the accused while in custody.

Magistrate Somaratne said the matter raised by Ms Kant was a trial matter.

Police prosecutor Yasin Ali objected to bail for the bus driver, citing that the prosecution had a strong case against the accused and that there was tension in the community after the incident.

He said the incident took place only a few days ago and had drawn a lot of public interest and in the interest of the accused, he should be kept in custody for his safety.

In response, Ms Kant said her client was a survivor of the unfortunate incident and eyewitnesses had said that the accident wasn’t his fault.

She also said Mr Jattan didn’t feel threatened as he lived away from where the incident took place.

The accused has been remanded in custody.

He will be produced again in court tomorrow for his bail hearing.

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