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Four Deny Rape, Assault Charges

Four men pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and assault with intent to commit rape at the High Court in Suva yesterday. Appearing before Justice Salesi Temo were Wame
28 Jun 2018 10:00
Four Deny Rape, Assault Charges

Four men pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and assault with intent to commit rape at the High Court in Suva yesterday.

Appearing before Justice Salesi Temo were Wame Baleimakogai, Napolioni Leiloma, Luke Sorovakatini and Sanjay Lal.

They denied four counts of rape and one count of assault with intent to commit rape when their trial began before a panel of three assessors.

On the first count, Baleimakogai, Leiloma and Sorovakatini are alleged to have had carnal knowledge of the complainant without consent on October 9, 2016, at Waimaro, Tailevu.

On the second count, Leiloma allegedly penetrated the complainant’s mouth with his private part without her consent.

For the third count, Baleimakogai allegedly penetrated the complainant’s mouth with his private part without her consent.

On the fourth count, Baleimakogai, Leiloma and Lal allegedly had carnal knowledge of the complainant without her consent.

On the fifth count, Lal allegedly punched the complainant’s mouth with the intention to commit rape.

All alleged incidents occurred at the same location and on the same date.

In his opening address to the assessors, State lawyer Taitusi Tuenuku said the four men allegedly raped two victims on October 9, 2016.

He alleged they took the girls to an isolated place and took advantage of their vulnerability, lured them and tricked them before raping them.

Before trial proper, Mr Tuenuku informed Justice Temo that he had received a call from the second complainant that Lal’s father, who is a taxi driver, had approached her and offered to give her $500 so that she would not give evidence in court.

Lal’s lawyer Mr Reddy said he asked his client whether he approached the complainant, but the accused said he did not. He added that he called the accused’s father on speaker phone and he denied the allegation.

Justice Temo issued a bench warrant against Lal’s father and the second complainant who were both subsequently produced in court at midday yesterday.

Mr Tuenuku made an application to remand Lal’s father in custody pending a Police investigation into the allegation.

The man denied approaching the complainant after Justice Temo said he had affected court proceedings.

The man was remanded in custody until 4.30pm when Justice Temo reviews the order.

Baleimakogai is represented by Legal Aid Commission lawyer Lice Manulevu, Leiloma is represented by Lavinia David, Sorovakatini is represented by Litiana Ratidara and Lal is represented by Jitendra Reddy.

Edited by Epineri Vula

 

 

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