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Crowd Heckle Rape Accused

Crowd Heckle Rape Accused
Police officers escorts Nakasi rape accused Laitia Nalawa (wearing hood), to the Nasinu Magistrates Court yesterday. Photos: Ronald Kumar
July 26
11:23 2015

A big crowd booed the man charged with assaulting and raping a nine-year-old Nakasi girl when he was brought to the Nasinu Magistrates Court yesterday morning.
Burly Police officers escorted 31-year-old Laitia Nalawa to a special court sitting.
As soon as the accused arrived, people moved towards him but Police stopped them. They heckled and called him names.
He was handcuffed, his head bowed and covered with a hoodie. People could not see his face.
An angry woman called him “You animal, you beast. Why hide your face?
Fiji Sun cannot print some of the comments because they could prejudice the case.
There were men, women and children who came from the Suva-Nausori corridor and they arrived early to the courthouse only to find a Police cordon around the building. Only the media, lawyers, court staff and Police were allowed inside.
The grey hoodie was removed when Nalawa stood before Magistrate Sufia Hamza. He was expressionless and was still when he sat down.
Nalawa wore a grey pullover with a hoodie, a dark sulu and pink flip flops and had his head bowed. He only looked up to answer questions. He faces one count of rape and another count of assault with intent to rape.
He also faces additional charges of burglary and theft for breaking into a house.
The court proceedings lasted between five to seven minutes. The charges were read out to Nalawa. He said in iTaukei that he understood the charges and waived his right to legal representation. He said he would represent himself.
Ms Hamza granted the application made by the office of the Director of Public Prosecution to suppress the name of the victim.
DPP lawyer Yogesh Prasad requested that Nalawa be remanded in custody and the matter be transferred to the High Court, citing rape to be an indictable offence.
First phase of disclosures was served.
Magistrate Hamza transferred the matter to the High Court in Suva citing rape to be an indictable offence.
Nalawa has been remanded at the Suva Remand Centre, and he would appear for first call in the High Court on August 7.
He was arrested more than two weeks after the girl was grabbed and raped on her way home from school.


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