The five police officers accused of having brutalised Iqbal Toofany which ultimately led to his death appeared at the Bail and Remand Court today, 25th of March. Only the question over the motion relating to constable Laboudeuse has been debated. The Chief Inspector (CI) Roshan Kokil, representative of the Commissioner of Police, is reported to have objected against the release of constable Laboudeuse.
Iqbal Toofany, the victim of the alleged police brutality
4 of the 5 police officers, including Constable La Boudeuse, involved in the case and their lawyer (far right). Photo credits: Lemauricien.com.
Chief Inspector Roshan Kokil has objected against the release of constable Laboudeuse, arguing that he might manipulate any existing evidence. He has explained that the accused might have access to the proofs since he is himself a policeman. He also said that he could influence other witnesses if he is released. It is to be noted that Laboudeuse is the only one having given his version of the circumstances relating to Iqbal Toofany, and the risk of him trying to communicate such to the other suspects should not be ignored.
Furthermore, the CI mentioned the risk of the accused being attacked by members of the public; according to him, Laboudeuse might be subject to safety issues if he is granted freedom by the court.
Mauritians at large have been appalled at the alleged treatment of Iqbal Toofany and the possibility of some of them assaulting the ‘criminals’ cannot be disregarded either, specially that a crowd had gathered at Bambous on Friday 20th of March when the five police officers had appeared in court.
On the other hand, the lawyer of the policeman, Gavin Glover, has submitted a second motion.
Also, magistrate Prithviraj Balnac affirmed that if the judicial investigation is carried out simultaneously with the police investigation, this might lead to a number of contradictions coming up.
The case will resume on the 28th of March.