NATION

Accused Nalawa Pleads Not Guilty

The long-awaited trial of Ilaitia Nalawa, 31, who has been charged with allegedly raping a nine-year-old girl in Nakasi last year, started yesterday at the High Court in Suva. Ilaitia
02 Feb 2016 10:24
Accused Nalawa Pleads Not Guilty
Rape accused Ilaitia Nalawa in court yesterday. Photo: Rama

The long-awaited trial of Ilaitia Nalawa, 31, who has been charged with allegedly raping a nine-year-old girl in Nakasi last year, started yesterday at the High Court in Suva.

Ilaitia Nalawa appeared before Justice Salesi Temo yesterday charged with one count of burglary, one count of theft, one count of assault with intent to rape and one count of rape.

The charges were read out to Nalawa, which he understood and pleaded not guilty to all.

This was despite the fact that the accused had admitted to committing the alleged offence in his caution interview with Police.

The interviewing officer in the case, Police Constable Isikeli Rokodreu, from the CID at Nakasi Police Station took the witness stand yesterday and read out extracts from the caution interview.

Constable Rokodreu told the court that on the day of the offence the accused with four others came through a shortcut before reaching Salua Farm Road in Nakasi. The court heard that accused told the four to take the lead home and he would come later.

While at the shortcut the accused saw the nine-year-old girl. The court heard that the accused jumped onto the road, grabbed the girl and covered her mouth with his hands before forcefully dragging the girl to the bushes and allegedly raped her.

The court heard that the accused was with the victim for almost 30 minutes. The court also heard that the accused had admitted committing the rape after finding out that his girlfriend was a married woman.

In cross- examination, defence lawyer, Panapasa Tawake asked Constable Rokodreu if he had any knowledge of his client being assaulted and forced to sign the caution interview statement. Constable Rokodreu refuted these claims and said it was all false.

The charging officer, Corporal Josefa Ranuku and investigating officer, Detective Constable Raj Avinesh also took the witness stand yesterday.

The prosecution is expected to be calling 16 witnesses for the trial proper. The victim, her mother and the doctor who medically examined the victim are expected to take the witness stand when the trial continues today.

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback:  aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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