Crown Law takes over cop brutality prosecution

Saturday April 11, 2020 Written by Published in Crime

Crown Law has taken over the prosecution of a young father allegedly punched by police while he was restrained on the ground.

 

Police accused Aue Vakatini of assaulting an officer, even though he alleged it was the officer who hit him and broke his jaw – a claim eventually backed up by cellphone video footage.

Police have acknowledged his broken jaw, and offering to pay for his medical care, but continued their prosecution of Vakatini.

Now, his case has been adjourned. At the High Court, defence lawyer Mark Short advised Justice of the Peace Georgina Williams that Crown Law was now handling the case as it involved a police officer.

Police officer Faarii Moekapiti is charged with assault with intent to injure, while Vakatini is facing charges of threatening to kill, wilful damage and assaulting a police officer.

The incident took place in September last year. Vakatini was arrested and spent a weekend in the police cell – missing out on Father’s Day.

He was released on a Monday morning with a broken jaw that he alleged was caused by a police punch. Cellphone video footage of the whole incident was shared on social media.

JP Williams adjourned the matter to June 4.

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