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We Are Free, Say Men Accused Of Rape

We are now free men. These were the joyful words of two former Fiji Corrections Service officers who were acquitted of rape charges yesterday by the High Court in Suva.
29 Jul 2017 14:33
We Are Free, Say Men Accused Of Rape
From left: Meli Vatureba, lawyer Barbara Malimali and Nasoni Raburau outside court in Suva on July 28, 2017. Photo: Jessica Savike

We are now free men.

These were the joyful words of two former Fiji Corrections Service officers who were acquitted of rape charges yesterday by the High Court in Suva.

Meli Vatureba and Nasoni Raburau held their heads high when they walked out of the courtroom after Justice Vincent Perera delivered his judgment.

Vatureba said: “I feel happy and I want to thank my lawyer, Barbara Malimali, for fighting with me because this past two years has been hard for me because I was embarrassed and now I can prove myself that I am not guilty.”

Vatureba and Raburau are looking forward to re-joining the Corrections Service. Raburau was represented by Namrata Mishra.

It was alleged that on September 18, 2015, Vatureba and Raburau had raped a female Corrections officer.

Justice Perera, while delivering his judgment, said there was no evidence that the victim was unconscious or in that state.

He also said the victim had said that she could not remember when she had blacked out and that evidence by prosecution witnesses two and three do not suggest that she couldn’t recall anything.

Justice Perera said that in relation to the first count there was reasonable doubt.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  jessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj

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