NATION

Accused Claims Police Assault

A new turn of event took place at the High Court in Suva yesterday when the Nakasi rape suspect alleged that Police had assaulted him while he was in custody.
08 Aug 2015 12:45
Accused Claims Police Assault
Nakasi rape suspect Ilaitia Nalawa outside the High Court in Suva yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar

A new turn of event took place at the High Court in Suva yesterday when the Nakasi rape suspect alleged that Police had assaulted him while he was in custody.

Ilaitia Nalawa, 31, appeared before High Court judge Justice Salesi Temo for the alleged rape and assault with the intent to rape of a nine-year-old Nakasi girl last month.

The accused faces additional charges of burglary and theft of a house.

The accused had earlier refused legal representation when he appeared at the Nasinu Magistrates Court on July 25. However, yesterday he appeared with Legal Aid lawyer Panapasa Tawake, while Director Public Prosecutions lawyer Yogesh Prasad appeared for the State.

The accused, through his lawyer, told the court that he was punched on the chest and face, beaten with a Police baton on his right knee and kicked three times on the same knee before, after and during the caution interview.

However the accused could not recall the name or the Police badge number of his attacker(s).

Justice Temo told Mr Tawake that anyone appearing before him needed to come with facts as it determined the credibility of the allegations the accused was making.

Mr Tawake requested that the accused be taken for medical examination.

However, Mr Prasad informed the court that the accused was earlier medically examined before and after the caution interview. But Mr Tawake argued he was only examined before the assault.

Justice Temo warned the lawyer that in his court he needs lawyers to be upfront with information and not wait for Prosecution to inform him that the accused was examined.

Mr Tawake said they were claiming that the accused was assaulted before and during the caution interview.

Justice Temo asked why the accused never requested the resident magistrate in Nasinu for the medical examination and Mr Tawake replied that the accused had no idea he could do that.

Mr Tawake also asked if the accused be taken to the Central Police Station to lodge a complaint of assault. However, Justice Temo informed the lawyer to lodge the complaint on his behalf.

Mr Prasad said they would like a formal challenge on the issue of assault and that they would be providing the medical report to the court as part of disclosures.

He sought 21 days to file information and disclosure and asked for a permanent name suppression order of the victim which was granted.

The matter will be called on Monday for the DPP to provide a copy of medical report before Justice Temo considers the accused’s application for a medical examination.

Nalawa has been further remanded in custody.

Feedback: farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper