NATION

Trial In Absentia For British Army Soldier

  A British Army soldier charged with two counts of rape and a count of sexual assault is having his trial in absentia after he chose not to attend court
04 Oct 2017 11:16
Trial In Absentia For British Army Soldier

 

A British Army soldier charged with two counts of rape and a count of sexual assault is having his trial in absentia after he chose not to attend court for the trial.

The trial of Samisoni Tikoinasautabua is being heard before Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe.

It is alleged that Tikoinasautabua on August 7, 2015 in Suva raped and sexually assaulted a woman.

State counsel Kimberley Semisi called her first and only prosecution witness, the victim.

The victim is a sportswoman who has represented the country in many sporting events.

She told the court that she had first encountered Tikoinasautabua when he had come to pick her sister and the kids in a rental to take them to Nadi from Suva.

The victim told the court that her sister had informed her that Tikoinasautabua was her friend and a British Army officer.

The victim said that Tikoinasautabua had asked of her from her sister and had shortly added her on Facebook where they had exchanged messages in a joking way.

“It was a conversation, making jokes and fun in regards to him wanting to get to know me, so I joked that he wanted to know me as if I were a celebrity worth knowing,” she said.

Ms Semisi asked the victim to tell the court what had happened on August 5, 2015. The victim said that was the day she travelled to Nadi to take back some school belongings of her sister’s children.

She further told the court that she had returned to Suva on August 7, 2015 where she had encountered Tikoinasautabua waiting for her at the ticket booth of the Western buses.

She said they agreed to have lunch at the Handicraft Centre which was noisy.

Ms Semisi asked the victim what she considered of Tikoinasautabua.

She said: “He was a friend of my sister whom I considered my friend as well and I was aware that he was much older than me and he was my sister’s school mate.

“During lunch since it was noisy he suggested that we go to the Peninsula Hotel to chill for which I agreed because in my mind I thought we would go to the pool or bar and have some drinks.”

The victim further told the court that when they arrived at the Peninsula Hotel, Tikoinasautabua went to the reception and led the way to the room.

She said she was anxious and nervous because she thought that they were going to the pool or bar.

Ms Semisi asked the victim to tell the court what had happened in the room. She said Tikoinasautabua raped her twice and sexually assaulted her even though she had refused him and said no.

“In my mind I kept recalling that he is part of the British Army and that he has served 13 years already so I was scared wondering what he would do if I tried to do anything.

“I was afraid and helpless and couldn’t scream or move as this man has a whole load of experience in the army and was bigger than me. I was scared of being hurt by him if I resisted.”

She stated that after the incident she waited for the accused to sleep before she escaped.

She told the court she called a friend who was a doctor and asked her to accompany her in buying emergency pills to prevent her from getting pregnant.

Justice Rajasinghe will be summing up the case later today.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedbackjessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj



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