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New Zealand resident charged over 'witchcraft' deaths of five family members in Fiji

New Zealand resident Muhammad Raheesh has appeared at the Nadi Magistrates court this afternoon charged with five counts of murder and one count of attempted murder over the deaths of five people in the same family in Nadi, Fiji.

It was earlier reported by 1 NEWS that a Christchurch couple were being questioned in relation to the deaths.

The bodies of a 63-year-old carpenter, Nirmal Kumar, his 54-year-old wife, Usha Devi, their 34-year-old daughter, Nileshni Kajal, and her two daughters Sana, aged 11, and Samara, eight, were found in the Nausori Highlands last month on August 26.

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Muhammad Raheesh has been remanded in custody until September 25. Source: 1 NEWS

A one-year-old was also found crawling at the scene. The baby was hospitalised but has since been released.

The father of the two children who died told the Fiji Sun that his father-in-law, who also died in the incident, was interested in witchcraft, according to AAP. 

"I never saw anyone or any family so much into witchcraft than my in-laws," he said. "I used to see my in-laws and other witchdoctors making a doll from dough and poking needles in it. I always took my daughters away into the bedroom."

Post mortem results showed they died after ingesting a toxic substance. 

Raheesh has been remanded in custody until September 25 when he will appear at the High Court in Lautoka.

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1 NEWS Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver looked into the mysterious deaths. Source: 1 NEWS