Mohammed denies murdering family

Mohammed denies murdering family

A Christchurch man has denied murdering a family of five, including two children, during a holiday in Fiji.

Mohammed Raheesh Isoof, 65, is standing trial in Fiji for the alleged murders in the Nausori Highlands, Nadi.

The bodies of the victims – Nirmal Kumar, 63, his wife Usha Devi, 54, their daughter Nileshni Kala and her two children Sana, 11, and Samara, 8 – were found on a remote clifftop on August 26, 2019.

A baby was found alive among the dead bodies.

Raheesh, a Christchurch resident who worked as a bus driver, was taken in for questioning two days later.

He faces four charges of murder, and one of attempted murder.

Postmortem examination results showed the victims died as result of ingesting a toxic substance.

Raheesh is alleged to be the last person to see the victims alive.

Justice Thushara Rajasinghe is hearing the case in the High Court at Lautoka.

Raheesh told the court he had dropped the family off at Nausori Highlands on the morning of August 25, and when he left, they were still alive.

He returned to do some shopping as he was expecting visitors to his home, he said.

He said if he had murdered the family, he would have returned to New Zealand immediately.

Raheesh said the victim, Nirmal Kumar, was a good friend, and they had known each other for years.

Their homes in Legalega, Nadi, were right next to each other and Nirmal looked after Raheesh’s home while he was away in New Zealand.

The prosecution claimed Raheesh remained on the mountain with the family, that he had a relationship with Nileshni Kala, and that he made false promises to the family of starting a new life in New Zealand.

Raheesh denied all of those allegations.

Closing submissions are expected on Friday and a verdict is expected next week.

Raheesh is a Fiji citizen but holds permanent residency in New Zealand.

Fiji deaths: Christchurch man denies murdering family of five