Fiji deaths: Trial of Christchurch man accused of murdering family of five delayed

A Christchurch’s man last attempt to get bail before he faces trial for the alleged murders of five family members in Fiji has failed.

Mohammed Raheesh Isoof, a Fijian citizen who holds permanent residency in New Zealand, was supposed to stand trial on Monday over the deaths of Nirmal Kumar, 63, his wife Usha Devi, 54, their daughter Nileshni Kala and her two children Sana, 11, and Samara, 8.

Their bodies were found on Nausori Highlands, a remote clifftop area in Nadi, west of Fiji, on August 26, 2019.

Isoof appeared at Lautoka High Court in Fiji before Justice Chamath Morais on Monday, and was denied bail a second time because he had not disclosed valuable information about his travel history.

His first application for bail was denied because he was considered a flight risk as he was previously deported from Australia and moved to New Zealand under a new name – issues that haven’t been clarified to the court, Justice Morais said.

Isoof’s trial will now begin on July 19.

The former bus driver, from Christchurch, was charged on September 16, more than three weeks after the alleged murders.

He denies five charges of murder and one of attempted murder of Nileshni Kala’s niece, 11-month-old infant Samaira.

Post-mortem examination results sighted by Stuff showed the five died as a result of ingesting a toxic substance.

Isoof was known to the deceased family.

His home in Fiji was next door to the victims’ home in Nalega, Nadi, and it is alleged Nirmal Kumar was in charge of looking after Isoof’s house when he was away in New Zealand.

Isoof is also alleged to have been a healer, who had treated Usha Devi’s abdominal pains several times.

He is being represented in court by lawyer Iqbal Khan, while the state will be represented by Department of Prosecution lawyer, Semi Babitu.

Fiji deaths: Trial of Christchurch man accused of murdering family of five delayed