NATION

Judge Acquits Man, 32, of Rape, Assault

A 32-year-old man was acquitted in the Suva High Court on Friday and cleared of charges of rape, assault with intent to commit rape and act with intent to cause
24 Jun 2018 12:47
Judge Acquits Man, 32, of Rape, Assault

A 32-year-old man was acquitted in the Suva High Court on Friday and cleared of charges of rape, assault with intent to commit rape and act with intent to cause grievous harm.

The accused was alleged to have committed the offence on a 19-year-old girl on November 20, 2016 inside an abandoned house on the corner of Amy Street and Brewster Street.

The accused was represented by defence lawyer Nilesh Lajendra and he denied the charges throughout trial.

On June 21, 2018 after a short deliberation the three assessors came back with a unanimous not guilty opinion in favour of the accused.

Justice Thushara Rajasinghe concurred with the assessors and found no cordial reasons to disregard their not guilty opinion.

In his judgment he said the main issue in contention in the case was the identity of the perpetrator who committed the crime.

He said the Prosecution relied on the Identification Parade where the girl positively identified the accused as the perpetrator while the defence relied on the Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test.

Justice Rajasinghe said DNA was one of the most trusted pieces of evidence in criminal cases and its accuracy and effectiveness has been discussed in many jurisdictions.He stated that the white t-shirt the complainant claimed to have been worn by the accused and which she wore afterwards had mixed DNA profile samples.

He said the major DNA contributor was the complainant and a minor contributor was the DNA of an unidentified male who was not the accused.

Justice Rajasinghe stressed that the accused’s DNA profile was not found on any of the items which were sent for DNA testing.

He said even though the complainant was convincing in her evidence, past experience has taught that even convincing witnesses can sometimes be mistaken.

State lawyer Kimberly Semisi appeared for the Prosecution.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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