I was provoked to act, Devi tells court
The woman alleged to have murdered her de facto partner by setting him on fire on November 17, 2016, reportedly revealed in her caution interview that she was provoked into carrying out the act. Marriane Premila Devi is on trial in the High Court in Suva charged with one count of murder before Justice Salesi Temo.
The revelation was made by Police detective Niklesh Chand when he took the stand and was questioned about Devi’s caution interview. Detective Constable Chand said the accused told him during the interview that she was taunted to commit the act.
He confirmed that the accused said that she had poured kerosene on her partner, Bal Krishna, and set him on fire.
Defence lawyer Lisiate Qetaki suggested to Detective Constable Chand that Devi told him during her interview that her partner was swearing at her and saying, “Burn me! Burn me!” Constable Chand said the accused told him that Mr Krishna had dared her to burn him. He did not agree with Mr Qetaki that the accused had already packed her bags and was ready to leave the house when the accused stopped her when he went to her bedroom and unpacked her bags.
In her caution interview the accused said she set Mr Krishna’s pants alight first.
But she said she went into the kitchen to cook and was holding a lit newspaper to light the stove when Mr Krishna approached her from behind and got burnt in the process. Trial continues in the High Court today. The accused is on remand.