NEWS

DNA Test Vital, Says Lawyer

Defence lawyer Nilesh Lajendra pointed out the importance of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing and its implications relating to his 30-year-old client. Mr Lajendra is representing a man charged with three
20 Jun 2018 10:00
DNA Test Vital, Says Lawyer

Defence lawyer Nilesh Lajendra pointed out the importance of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing and its implications relating to his 30-year-old client.

Mr Lajendra is representing a man charged with three counts of rape, assault with intent to commit rape and act with intent to cause grievous harm.

The alleged incident happened at Toorak, Suva on November 20, 2016 at an abandoned house at the corner of Amy Street and Brewster Street.

While giving evidence before Justice Thushara Rajasinghe at the High Court in Suva yesterday, the investigating officer Detective Constable Livai Tauribau said the accused was detained following a tip-off from an anonymous informant.

In her caution interview, the 19-year-old complainant stated that the suspect was a man, who was taller than her and aged between 20 to 30 years old with a slight beard.

Constable Tauribau said the accused was taken in for questioning three days after the girl was discharged from hospital.

She positively identified him during an identification parade.

The court heard that photographic and physical evidence was taken by the Forensics Department for review.

However, the accused was charged with rape before the DNA report was released.

A Tee-shirt, which allegedly belonged to the accused and which was tendered in evidence, was sent to the lab for DNA testing.

It was heard that the accused was charged solely on the identification by the victim.

In their defence, Mr Lajendra questioned Constable Tauribau on the need for a DNA confirmation prior to charging a person.

The major piece of evidence found was the T-Shirt. which the accused allegedly used on the victim.

Constable Tauribau said all directives came from his superiors and no recommendations were made to consider the DNA report before charging the accused.

Both counsels delivered their closing submissions to the three assessors and the case has been adjourned to tomorrow for summing up by Justice Rajasinghe.

State lawyer Kimberly Semisi is appearing for the prosecution.

Edited by Percy Kean

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