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Accused Takes Stand

Accused Takes Stand
April 14
10:16 2017

A rape accused on trial at the High Court in Suva yesterday said that the complainant was a willing partner.

Semi Benjamin said the complainant accompanied him to Nasole in Nasinu because she wanted to have sex with him.



Benjamin is charged with three counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

An alleged accomplice, Vero Vakariri is charged with one count each of rape and sexual assault and another Jope Vakaloloma is charged with sexual assault.

The alleged incident happened on October 25, 2015.

All three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Benjamin is represented by Lavinia David, Vakariri and Vakaloloma are being represented by Karen Boseiwaqa.

The state prosecution is being represented by Shirley Tivao and Swastika Sharma.

Judge Justice Vincent Perera at the end of the prosecution’s case said that there was no evidence that Vakariri was guilty for the fifth count of rape.


Defence Witness 1: Semi Benjamin

Benjamin told the court that on the day of the alleged incident, he was at his wife’s relative’s house when he came across the complainant sitting on the church steps.

He told the court that he informed his wife he was going to Nasole.

When he left the house, he met the complainant at the church steps who asked to join him.

“I told her feel free to come with me,” Benjamin said in court.

He argued that the complainant’s evidence was not true as he did not force her to accompany him to Nasole, nor did he threaten to stab her with a hard object if she screamed for help.

“She said she wanted to stay until noon then go back to her house because she was having family problems,” said Benjamin.

Benjamin told the court that when they arrived at his house in Nasole, Vakariri and Vakaloloma were already there having a meal.

They offered the complainant some food, but she refused, Benjamin said.

He claimed that she accompanied him to the room where they both had consensual intercourse.

The case has been adjourned to April 18, for continuation of trial.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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