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Judge: Harsher Penalties For Parliament To Decide

Judge: Harsher Penalties  For Parliament To Decide
Penalties
April 15
12:48 2016

High Court judge Justice Paul Madigan says the decision on calls for harsher penalties by our courts against rape and sexual assaults rests with Parliament

“At present, citizens of Fiji are disturbed if not angry about the prevalence of sexual assault and in particular the assault and rape of the nation’s children and calls have been made for harsher penalties,” he said.

However, he said courts must sentence within parameters set down and it is for Parliament to decide on the question of harsher penalties for rape and similar offences.

Justice Madigan made these comments while sentencing a Taveuni farmer found guilty of the digital rape of his 15-year-old niece to 15 years imprisonment at the High Court in Labasa yesterday.

The accused was represented by Legal Aid Commission lawyer, Aisea Paka, while Wakesa Elo represented the State from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

On June 6, 2014 the farmer had allegedly performed the sexual act against his niece’s will while she was ill and did not attend school on Taveuni Island.

The accused will only be eligible for parole after serving 10 years in jail.

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

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