Court Hears of Colanaudolu’s Alleged Murder Confession

A detective has told the High Court in Suva of the alleged confession made by Josua Colanaudolu, who is on trial for murder, multiple rape and abduction. Inspector Elia Waqanidrola
17 May 2017 11:00
Court Hears of Colanaudolu’s  Alleged Murder Confession
Rape and murder acccused Josua Colanaudolu outside the Suva courthouse on May 16, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar

A detective has told the High Court in Suva of the alleged confession made by Josua Colanaudolu, who is on trial for murder, multiple rape and abduction.

Inspector Elia Waqanidrola told the court yesterday that Colanaudolu made the alleged confession of injuring Mere Ailevu after a morning devotion.

The trial is being heard before Justice Salesi Temo.

The charges:

The court heard that there were four victims in the matter, including the deceased Mere Ailevu.

For the first victim, Colanaudolu faces two counts of abduction which is alleged to have happened between January 1, 1998 and February 31, 2001. For the same victim, he is charged with two counts of rape.

In the case of the second victim, Colanaudolu is charged with one count each of abduction, rape and indecently annoying females. These charges relate to alleged incidents that took place between June 1, 2002 and December 31, 2004.

In the matter of the third victim, Colanaudolu faces one count of rape, which allegedly took place on November 16, 2012.

The fourth victim in the matter is Mere Ailevu. In her matter, Colanaudolu faces two counts of rape, one each of abduction and murder. According to particulars read out in court, the alleged incident took place between March 13 and 14, 2016.

Prosecution witness:

Inspector Waqanidrola

Inspector Waqanidrola, who is currently the CID crime officer in charge of the Navua district, told the court that Mere’s murder case was one of the major investigations he had last year.

It was stated in court that Colanaudolu was arrested on March 20, last year from his home in Navua.

“Colanaudolu was sitting outside his house under a breadfruit tree,” he said.

The court heard that Inspector Waqanidrola then told Colanaudolu they were taking him in for questioning regarding the allegations of rape against him.

During examination-in-chief by State lawyer Lee Burney, Inspector Waqanidrola stated that during the investigation process as Police were conducting their caution interview Colanaudolu was not hurt or mistreated at any time.

He further said the officers did not speak to Colanaudolu in a harsh tone at any time and they did allow him breaks in between the caution interview process.

Inspector Waqanidrola told the court they would conduct morning devotions every day at the station and on March 26, last year Colanaudolu confessed to the alleged murder of Mere.

He said: “Colanaudolu wanted to apologise for telling us lies and making us feel bad, so I asked him why.

“He said he was the one who injured Mere. I told him it was a serious allegation and his confession, and he understood and said he was the one who did this to Mere.”

The court heard that for the next four days after that Colanaudolu was interviewed under caution and was formally charged with the rape and murder of Mere on March 29, last year.

When Colanaudolu was taken back to the crime scene for reconstruction purpose it was informed that there was a video recording of it.

During cross examination defence lawyer, Michael Fesaitu, suggested to Inspector Waqanidrola that when his team had gone to Colanaudolu’s house, he was asleep inside his house, but Inspector Waqanidrola said Colanaudolu was awake and sitting outside.

Mr Fesaitu further suggested that Colanaudolu was forcefully dragged out of his house by some Police officers and made to sit on the ground, but Inspector Waqanidrola said no.

It was also put to the Inspector that Colanaudolu was blindedfolded, hands cuffed and stripped naked at a roundabout behind the Pacific Harbour Golf Course, but the Inspector said that was not true.

Mr Fesaitu further put to the Inspector that chillies were rubbed on Colanaudolu’s behind, and again the Inspector said it was not true either.

It was then said that when Colanaudolu denied the allegations against him, he was punched several times by the officers, but again Inspector Waqanidrola said it was not true.

Another prosecution witness, who is a student and lives in the same village as Mere, told the court that on March 13, last year she saw a person crossing the road with something in his hand, which he threw over the fence and on the beach.

Justice Temo then asked the witness as to who was the person she had seen. She said she saw Colanaudolu adding that she did not mention his name till now because she was scared of him.

“I was scared to give his name because I thought he would come after me,” she said.

Colanaudolu is represented by Lavinia David and Mr Fesaitu while the State is represented by Mr Burney and Sujata Lodhia.

The case continues today.


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