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Lawyers: Wrong Person Charged

Ilatia Nalawa’s defence lawyers Panapasa Tawake and Aisea Paka yesterday informed the court in their closing submissions that Police have charged the wrong person. Nalawa is charged in relation to
05 Feb 2016 10:27
Lawyers: Wrong Person Charged
Police

Ilatia Nalawa’s defence lawyers Panapasa Tawake and Aisea Paka yesterday informed the court in their closing submissions that Police have charged the wrong person.

Nalawa is charged in relation to the alleged rape of a nine-year-old girl in Nakasi last year.

Mr Tawake told Justice Salesi Temo and the three assessors during the fourth day of the trial at the High Court in Suva that the wrong person has been brought to court.

He said the victim was not able to identify the iTaukei man she claimed had allegedly raped her because he was wearing a pompom. He also informed the assessors to compare the descriptions given by the victim to the accused because according to their evidences it does not match.

Mr Tawake said the victim had described the iTaukei man had a mole under his right small finger and a green tattoo showing a bird with a long beak and long legs. This, he said, was not found on Nalawa and the alleged rapist could still be out there.

He also said that the accused had only signed his caution interview statement because he was allegedly threatened, sworn-at and assaulted by Police officers at the Nakasi Police Station.

In closing the State’s submission, Prosecution lawyer Seini Puamau informed the court that although the accused was still innocent until proven guilty, the assessors should understand that the accused had confessed in his interview that he had committed the offence and had asked for forgiveness from the Government, Police and the victim’s family.

Ms Puamau also told the assessors that the accused had been thoroughly examined by three independent medical officers who all didn’t find any signs of recent trauma.

She informed the court that the accused co-operated well with Police during his interview and confessed in a detailed comprehensive manner.

Ms Puamau said they had the evidences and numerous exhibits that correlated with the accused’s confessions.

Meanwhile, four defence witnesses took the witness stand yesterday.

Nalawa’s uncle, Mataiasi Ligaidivia, and three of the four men he went with to the shop on the afternoon of July 7 last year, Apenisa Vunivi, Livai Navuci and Semisi Batiratu all informed the court that Nalawa had returned home after buying biscuit from the shop at Nakasi and had prepared their tea that afternoon.

However, their witnesses did not match with what they had said in their caution interview by Police.

They had all admitted in their caution interview that Nalawa did not return home with them that afternoon.

Mr Vuniivi, Mr Navuci and Mr Batiratu said they were allegedly assaulted, threatened and sworn at by Police to make these confessions.

They also said they tried reporting the matter at Nakasi Police Station, but were told by Police there that they would be coming to their home to make a traditional apology to the family for allegedly assaulting them while in Police custody.

Justice Temo will give his summing up of the case today.

 

 

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback: aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj

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