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Complainant Cross Examined by Defence Lawyer

Lavenia Davis, the defence lawyer, for rape accused Semi Benjamin, cross examined the 21-year-old complainant yesterday. Charges Benjamin, who is a serving inmate, is charged with three counts of rape
12 Apr 2017 16:45
Complainant Cross Examined by Defence Lawyer
Vero Vakariri(left) and Jope Vakaloloma at the High Court in Suva on the April 11, 2017. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

Lavenia Davis, the defence lawyer, for rape accused Semi Benjamin, cross examined the 21-year-old complainant yesterday.

Charges

Benjamin, who is a serving inmate, is charged with three counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Vero Vakariri is charged with one count each of rape and sexual assault and Jope Vakaloloma is charged with sexual assault.

The alleged incident occurred on October 25, 2015.

All three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Vakariri and Vakaloloma are represented by defence lawyer Karen Boseiwaqa.

The matter was heard at the High Court in Suva before Justice Vincent Perera.

Cross examination

Ms Davis asked the complainant why she did not try to run away from Benjamin since she was near her home and her hands and legs were not tied up.

The complainant replied saying that at that point in time was too afraid because of the alleged threats made towards her by Benjamin.

She further told the court: “I have no desire to be with him.”

During her examination-in-chief the complainant told the court that Benjamin had forced her to smoke, to which Ms Davis said that she had asked for the cigarette herself.

The complainant said: “I would never smoke with a stranger who was threatening me.”

Ms Davis further put to the complainant that she was lying to the court to which she said that she would never lie about such a shameful act. The case continues today.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: jessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj

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