NEWS

Jone Cokanauto Files Appeal Against Conviction

Mr Valenitabua asked to be allowed to argue leave and bail pending appeal application.
04 Apr 2019 10:00
Jone Cokanauto Files Appeal Against Conviction
Jone Cokanauto outside Fiji Court of Appeal on April 3, 2019.Photo: Ashna Kumar.

A prayer group leader who was sentenced to 20 years in jail after being convicted of multiple charges of rape, indecent assault and attempted rape has filed an appeal in the Fiji Court of Appeal against his conviction in 2017.

Jone Cokanauto, who founded the Jezreel Lion of Judah Ministry, appeared before Justice William Calanchini yesterday.

His lawyer, Simione Valenitabua, told the court that he had filed an additional application for bail pending appeal.

Mr Valenitabua asked to be allowed to argue leave and bail pending appeal application.

Justice Calanchini said the bail pending application matter could not be heard until the leave was filed for the appeal of conviction.

The judge then ordered the defence and State lawyer from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Semi Babitu to file written submissions.

Mr Valenitabua asked to be given seven days to serve the ODPP with the bail pending appeal application and 14 days thereafter to file written submissions on the matter.

Mr Babitu asked for 21 days to respond to the leave and bail pending appeal application submissions.

Justice Calanchini said the appeal would not be given priority at any point in time and if any other appeal matter from previous years would come, those appeal matters would be given priority.

He said once all the submissions were filed, the matter would be listed before Justice of Appeal until further notice.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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