Falling tree kills man
Fiji – The last words uttered by 36-year-old Samu Lala to his sister before going to work on Tuesday morning were "I will see you on Thursday afternoon".
But Sovaia Radiri will not see her brother again after he died from fatal injuries sustained in an accident at work yesterday.
"The last time I spoke to him, he told me he would spend the night at home on Thursday because it was easier for him to travel to work from home," she said.
"I never thought that was the last time I was going to see him alive."
According to police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro, Mr Lala died at the Lekutu Health Centre on Tuesday night from injuries he suffered — between 4pm and 5pm — on the Nawailevu Hills in Lekutu, Dreketi where a falling pine tree trapped the man, injuring him severely.
"He was accompanied by a fellow worker who was standing a few metres away and witnessed the pine tree the victim had been cutting fall on the deceased," she said.
"He was rushed to the Lekutu Health Centre where he received treatment while awaiting the doctor's arrival from Labasa.
"At 10pm, he was unfortunately pronounced dead following an operation and it is believed he died as a result of injuries sustained."
She said a post mortem examination would be carried out to ascertain the cause of death.
Accused cops choose not to give evidence
Tonga - The five policemen accused of manslaughter in the death of a New Zealand constable chose not to give evidence in the trial at the Nuku'alofa Supreme Court after the Crown concluded its final witness on Thursday, Radio New Zealand reports.
The court heard from the defence counsel their decision not to call any witnesses nor would the accused give evidence. Police Inspector Kelepi Hala'ufia and Police Constables Salesi Maile, Tevita Vakalahi, Manu Tu'ivai and Fatai Faletau have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter with an alternative charge of grievous bodily harm.
Civilian Semisi Manu has also been charged and is to be tried separately.
Meanwhile, Matangi Tonga online reports that Justice Charles Cato then adjourned to next Monday to hear final submissions from counsel.
National Front wants New Caledonia referendum
NEW CALEDONIA - The National Front has called for an independence referendum as soon as possible.
Campaigning for seats in this month's election in the southern province, the party says a vote should go ahead quickly to reassure families and investors.
Under the Noumea Accord, Congress has five years to organise a self-determination vote.
The idea is opposed by a leading anti-independence party, describing it as a frontal vote because nothing is defined of what is behind the two options.
The Caledonia Together Party of Philippe Gomes says being with France, New Caledonia can protect itself against certain people inside the territory and be safe from what he calls external predators that could recolonise the territory economically.