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I Admitted To The Offence After Police Beatings, Colanaudolu Tells Court

  Josua Colanaudolu has told the court that he “…had to admit to the offence” after being beaten repeatedly by Police officers. Colanaudolu, who is on trial for murder, multiple
20 May 2017 10:41
I Admitted To The Offence After Police Beatings,  Colanaudolu Tells Court
Murder and Rape accused Josua Colanaudolu at Suva courthouse cellblock on Friday May 19th, 2017. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga

 

Josua Colanaudolu has told the court that he “…had to admit to the offence” after being beaten repeatedly by Police officers. Colanaudolu, who is on trial for murder, multiple rapes and abduction took the witness stand yesterday to give evidence at the High Court in Suva. The trial is being presided over by Justice Salesi Temo.

Colanaudolu alleged he was dragged out of his house and made to sit on the ground with handcuffs on.

“They were pulling both sides of my Tee-shirt and one was pushing from the back while the other was holding my three-quarter pants,” he said.

 

The charges:

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

For the first victim, Colanaudolu faces two counts of abduction which allegedly took place between January 1, 1998 and February 31, 2001. For the same victim, he is also 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 incidents that allegedly 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 one count each of abduction and murder and two counts of rape. According to particulars read out in court, the alleged incident took place between March 13 and 14, 2016.

 

Defence witness:

Josua Colanaudolu

Defence lawyer Michael Fesaitu asked Colanaudolu what happened at the station. He replied saying that the Police officers had told him to confess to the murder, rape and abduction of Mere.He told the court that on the night of the incident he was asleep at home because he was drunk and feeling weak from drinking and working without any sleep.

Colanaudolu further said he only came to know of Mere’s death on March 14, last year after lunch.

“They took me at the back of the Pacific Harbour Golf Course. During the journey they continued to threaten me and said if I confessed they will take me back to the Pacific Harbour Police Post. They said you murdered that girl on the beach,” he said in court.

Colanaudolu said when he denied the allegation, the Police officers blindfolded him with a pompom and stripped him naked. He further said he felt something wet being rubbed on his backside.

“After a few seconds I can feel something hot, like chillies, being rubbed on. I could hear an officer ask me to admit that I raped the third victim,” Colanaudolu said in court.

“When I denied that I did not do it, they punched me three times. Then again the Police officers asked me if I did that thing. I said no, then they punched me more than 10 times and the punches landed on the left side of my face and chest and the right side of my ribs.

“I could feel the pain from the hard and heavy punches and when I say no to them, they repeat what they did.”

He further said a Police officer rubbed chillies up and around his backside and he screamed in pain and nearly fainted. Colanaudolu said: “Then I realise that I had to admit to the offence. I told them stop. I will confess to the allegation.”

He will continue to give evidence on Monday, May 22. He is represented by Lavinia David and Mr Fesaitu. The State is represented by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Lee Burney, and Ms Lodhia.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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