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Nakasi Rape Accused Refutes Allegations

He alleges he was assaulted, threatened and forced to admit offence by Police during caution interview   The 31-year-old man accused of raping a nine-year-old girl in Nakasi last year
04 Feb 2016 10:40
Nakasi Rape Accused Refutes Allegations

He alleges he was assaulted, threatened and forced to admit offence by Police during caution interview

 

The 31-year-old man accused of raping a nine-year-old girl in Nakasi last year has denied charges made against him.

Ilaitia Nalawa took the witness stand for the Defence before Justice Salesi Temo as the trial went into its third day at the High Court in Suva yesterday.

Nalawa told the court that on the day of the alleged rape, July 7 last year, he was at his uncle Mataiasi’s home at Salua Farm Road in Nakasi. At around 3pm, he left home with four other men to go and buy biscuit.

He informed the court that after buying biscuit, they waited for a while at the shop, before going straight back home to drink tea.

During examination-in-chief by Defence, Nalawa denied the admissions made in his caution interview statement that he had committed the offence and that he had asked for forgiveness from the Police, Government and the family of the victim.

Nalawa told the court that he was allegedly assaulted, threatened and sworn at by Police officers to admit to the allegations put before him.

He also claimed that during the scene reconstruction on July 8 last year, he was told by Police officers to show the place where the alleged rape took place and the house he allegedly broke into. He informed the court that he told the officers he didn’t know anything and didn’t point at a place.

Nalawa also informed the court he did not admit to the allegations of rape, burglary and also did not steal from the complainant as stated in his caution interview statement.

During cross-examination, Nalawa confirmed as per records in his caution interview statement that on their return from buying biscuit, he had asked for one of the four man’s phone to call his girlfriend, Laisa.

He however argued that he did not stay behind but had returned home with them to drink tea.

Dr Reapi Mataika, the pediatrician at the Children’s Ward of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital who had examined the victim on July 8 last year, informed the court that she examined the victim following a call from the Nakasi Police Station.

Dr Mataika told the court that during her examination she found the victim bleeding from the genitalia, and she was very frightened. She said that the victim had suffered injuries to her private parts, which were very serious.

Dr Mataika said the victim also had bruises on her neck and her face was swollen. The victim, she said, also had a black-eye with the white part of her eye bleeding; her lips were swollen and also the right side of her face was bruised.

The court also heard that the victim was admitted at the hospital for three days.

Meanwhile, Police Forensic Unit scientific officer Jolame Uacyisrael, while taking the witness stand for the State, said they had examined a vaginal swab of the victim and the pompom allegedly used by the accused during the alleged rape.

During cross-examination, Mr Uacyisrael confirmed to the court that they had also taken DNA swabs of Nalawa and four other suspects. He informed the court that Nalawa’s DNA was not found on any of the items recovered from the victim and those that were collected from the crime scene.

Day Four of the trial continues today. Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

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