NEWS

Woman Tells Court Husband Was With Her

The wife of a 42-year-old man charged with the rape of his 14-year-old nephew told the High Court in Suva yesterday that she would say anything to keep her husband
04 Nov 2017 12:03
Woman Tells Court  Husband Was With Her

The wife of a 42-year-old man charged with the rape of his 14-year-old nephew told the High Court in Suva yesterday that she would say anything to keep her husband from being imprisoned. The woman gave evidence before judge Justice Salesi Temo to testify about her husband’s whereabouts on March 3 last year – the day of the alleged rape.

The accused is charged alongside three other men from the same village who allegedly raped the teenage boy between November 1, 2015, and March 3, 2016. In her evidence the woman said that her husband was at home with her on the day of the alleged rape, helping her weave Fijian fans.

The witness told the court that she weaved the fans while her husband did the magimagi. They weaved fans all day until their neighbour joined them in their house with her child.

At around mid-day, the court was told that they had their lunch and at 2pm their neighbour left the house to go to the village school to attend her son’s prefect induction ceremony. The witness said they continued making fans until their neighbour returned at around 4pm, had afternoon tea and then boarded the 5pm bus with her children for Suva.

The witness said they continued making fans after dinner and went to bed at 10.30pm that night. Under cross examination, state prosecutor Taitusi Tuenuku asked the witness if she was aware of the seriousness of the charge that her husband was facing, to which she responded that she was. She agreed with Mr Tuenuku that she would say anything to keep the accused from going to prison.

Defence lawyer Swarvarna Prakash asked the witness what she meant by her answer to which she said she only wanted to tell the court the truth of what had happened on March 3, 2016. In her closing address, Ms Prakash told the assessors that the complainant never mentioned anything about the fourth accused when he relayed the alleged rape incidents to the members of his prayer group. She said the allegation was that the accused raped the complainant at the pig pen on March 3 last year at around 4pm.

However, the accused’s wife had stated that they were together at home the whole day. Ms Prakash said the complainant never mentioned about the accused to Police because the alleged rape never happened. She urged the assessors to note the complainant’s inconsistent evidence and to find her client not guilty for rape. Justice Temo will deliver his summing up on Monday.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola


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