Murdered Auckland Indian store owner's family shocked over verdict

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Auckland (New Zealand), Mar. 4 (ANI): The family of Navtej Singh, the Indian-origin Manurewa liquor store owner who was murdered on June 7, 2008, has expressed shock over a high court's not guilty verdict for three of the seven convicts involved in the case.

Daljit Singh, a close family friend, said while they respected the jury's decision and the New Zealand justice system, we "are shocked that three of them could go into the store with the accused and be found not guilty."

He said Navtej's wife was still haunted by the memory of what happened but would be in court for the sentencing on April 23 of Anitilea Chan Kee, the gunman, who said he didn't mean to fire the shot that killed Singh.

The verdict came after 20 hours of deliberations.

Six men, Anitilea Chan Kee, Myron Felise, Jason Naseri, Tino Felise, Walter McCarthy and Eti Filoa were accused of murdering Singh.

The others were charged with murder because police said they were party to the killing.

They have all been found not guilty of murder or manslaughter.

Myron Felise and Jason Naseri joined Chan Kee in the store while the others remained outside.

Tino Felise, Filoa and McCarthy were also on trial for aggravated robbery. The other accused had earlier pleaded guilty to that offence.

Felise, Filoa and McCarthy were found guilty of aggravated robbery.

A seventh man, Mefiposeta Chan Kee, was charged only with being an accessory after the fact. He was found not guilty of being accessory.

On Monday, Justice Graham Lang advised the jury during his summary of the trial that they should deal with the accused one by one, because it was effectively seven trials in one.

He warned them to take care with what witnesses claimed they had seen or heard at a party before the robbery because it was a moving and dynamic scene with people coming and going at different times. (ANI)

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