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Sex Was Consensual, Rape Accused Tells Court

Sex Was Consensual, Rape Accused Tells Court
July 27
13:06 2017

A 25-year-old former remand centre officer on trial for the alleged rape of a female corrections officer said the pair had consensual sex.

Meli Vatureba appeared before Justice Vincent Perera at the High Court in Suva yesterday.

He is charged alongside Nasoni Raburau, 25, who is also a former remand centre officer.

They are alleged to have raped a female prison officer on September 25, 2015, at the Korovou Corrections compound.

Vatureba is represented by defence lawyer, Barbara Malimali and Raburau is represented by Namrata Mishra.

The state prosecution is represented by Juleen Fatiaki and Sujata Lodhia.

 

Accused: Meli Vatureba’s Testimony

Vatureba told the court that he had joined the complainant and another officer at the Liquids Nightclub in Suva where they partied.

Ms Fatiaki asked Vatureba if he knew that the complainant was regarded as a tom boy to which he said ‘Yes’.

Vatureba agreed that the complainant had asked him to leave the nightclub with her.

It was suggested by Ms Fatiaki that the reason Vatureba didn’t let the complainant go alone was because he knew that she was drunk.

Vatureba said: “No I went with her because she was asking me to go with her.”

During examination in chief, Vatureba told the court that whilst at the club, the complainant had asked him to go to the toilet with her so that they could have sex, to which he had said no.

Ms Fatiaki suggested that the reason he had refused was because he was sober, while the victim was drunk.

He responded saying that he didn’t want to go with her because it was the girls’ toilet.

The accused further said that when the taxi stopped at the remand centre, the complainant asked him to get off with her.

Ms Fatiaki suggested to Vatureba that when he was going into the room that was inside the shed, the complainant was very drunk, to which he said ‘No’.

She further put it to him that having satisfied himself, he left leaving the victim half naked in that room. He said “No, I was standing at the door”.

 

Accused: Nasoni Raburau’s evidence

Ms Mishra asked Raburau to give an account of what had happened on the day of the alleged incident.

He told the court that he had left the Commissioner’s house at around 1am that day, after attending a birthday party.

Raburau said: “When I got off the vehicle I saw a person standing inside the waiting shed and I called out because I wanted to know who was there.

“Vatureba then called me by my nick name, Nass and I went towards him and asked him where he came back from.

“He said he was drinking in town with (the complainant) and that they had just finished having sex.

“I didn’t want to believe what he told me, so I went myself to the room to confirm whether she was in the room or not.”

He further told the court that because the room was dark, he had on the torch on his phone and shone it on the face of the person, who was the complainant.

Ms Malimali asked Raburau what the complainant was doing when he saw her.

“She was leaning her legs to the wall,” he said.

Raburau told the court that he also asked the complainant where she returned from, to which she said that she was drinking with Vatureba.

He further said that the complainant  was half naked and he had asked her to dress up.

However, she did not know where her trousers were.

It was stated by Raburau that her trousers were hanging on the window, which he gave her to put on.

Raburau said: “When she was putting on her trousers one of her legs was inside the trousers, then I squat down to put her second leg in.

“The victim got hold of me and told me to have sex with her and then I resisted and told her that she was drunk, but I was ok and that she doesn’t know what she was doing.”

He further stated that he pulled the complainant out of the room and dropped her at the women’s bure.

He said the next day his workmates were teasing him and his co-accomplice about their alleged sexual encounter with the complainant the previous night.

“… I was ashamed when I heard that because I did not do those acts to her,” said Raburau.

 

Defence witness: Cokanasiga Mataitini

Mr Mataitini, a defence witness told the court that he and Vatureba had met the complainant and another officer at the Liquids Nightclub.

Ms Malimali asked him to tell the court what he had observed at the nightclub.

Mr Mataitini said: “(The complainant) was pulling Vatureba and was kissing him. She also took Vatureba’s hand and put it inside the front side of her pants.

“When we got into the taxi, the victim said that she wanted to sit with Vatureba in the back seat.”

He further told the court that the complainant had insisted that she wanted Vatureba as she was hugging him inside the taxi.

During cross-examination, Ms Fatiaki asked Mr Mataitini where in his Police statement had he mentioned the things that the complainant was doing to Vatureba inside the club.

He replied saying that the Police never questioned him about her actions at the nightclub.

She further suggested that the reason it was not in his statement was because he was making it up in court, to which he said ‘No’.

The case continues today.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra                  

Feedback:  jessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj

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