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Pastor In Custody Waiting Bail Decision On Friday

Pastor In Custody Waiting Bail Decision On Friday
Pastor Jona Cokanauto to appear in the Nasinu Magistrate Court.
September 29
10:35 2015

The Magistrates court will rule this Friday on whether to grant the bail application of a church pastor who is charged with one count of indecent assault.

Pastor Jone Cokanauto of a church group known as Jezreel Lion of Judah, appeared before Magistrate Ratakele at the Nasinu Magistrates Court in Valelevu, Nasinu yesterday.

The court heard that between January 1 and July 31, 2006, Cokanauto allegedly unlawfully assaulted a woman in Nadera.

His lawyer, Simione Valenitabua made an oral application for bail for Cokanauto and said his client was ready to face curfew with strict reporting time from 7am to 7pm and was also willing to be released on bail under strict terms and also surrender his passport.

State lawyer Meli Vosawale objected to Cokanauto’s bail and said if the accused would be released on bail he was likely to interfere with state witnesses as Police were still investigating other serious allegations against Cokanauto.

Mr Vosawale also informed Magistrate Charles Ratakele that they would be filing these pending matters within the next seven days and asked if Cokanauto could be further remanded in Police custody.

Mr Valenitabua refuted these reasons by the State and informed Magistrate Ratakele that the investigations on other allegations made against his client were not to be considered at this stage as his client was only appearing for a charge yesterday.

Magistrate Ratakele ordered Mr Valenitabua to make a written application by today.

Mr Valenitabua agreed and said he would also attach the medical card of his client as he was suffering from some medical conditions.

He also made a complaint in court yesterday saying he and his client were disgusted by how The Fiji Times had reported about investigations into allegations made against his client.

Magistrate Ratakele told Mr Valenitabua that what went on in the media would not affect what was decided by the court and it was also a different issue altogether.

Magistrate Ratakele then ordered that Cokanauto be further remanded in Police custody until his bail ruling this Friday.

The case has been adjourned to 2.30pm Friday.



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