FIJI NEWS

Court rejects late evidence request

By FONUA TALEI The Suva Magistrates Court refused to accept new evidence during Mani Prasad’s trial yesterday produced by the prosecution. Prasad is facing one count of sexual assault and
05 Oct 2012 13:34

By FONUA TALEI

The Suva Magistrates Court refused to accept new evidence during Mani Prasad’s trial yesterday produced by the prosecution.
Prasad is facing one count of sexual assault and two counts of indecent assault charges. He denies the charges.
State lawyers had wanted to produce evidence from a Police sergeant during the trial but the court refused it because the officer was brought after the prosecution had closed their case.
The prosecution argued that they wanted to bring in the officer at the eleventh hour because they did not know that the said officer had taken statements from the complainant.
However, Magistrate Sufia Hamza told prosecution lawyer Shiven Nath that the officer was clearly mentioned in the complainant’s statement.
Mr Nath explained to Magistrate Hamza that the officer’s statement was not in the disclosures and was only made on Wednesday September 26.
The court heard that defence was not served with the statement.
Defence lawyer Tobia Ravuniwa said the prosecution only brought up the issue of another new statement after all their witnesses had been called.
He said they objected to the statement because it was prejudicial to Prasad and because the matter had been ongoing for quite some time.
The court heard that while the matter was ongoing, Prasad, who was employed at Mago Island, lost his job, and was informed that he could be re-employed once his case ended.
The trial has been adjourned to November 6 for ruling on a no case to answer.
Mr Ravuniwa sought 14 days from the court to file and serve written submission on the no case to answer.




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