NEWS

Defence Lawyer Seeks Time to Reconfirm Plea

The accused was in a position to change his plea, the defence would advise the prosecution on the next date.
03 May 2019 17:25
Defence Lawyer Seeks Time to Reconfirm Plea
Josevata Werelagi outside the High Court in Suva . Photo: Ashna Kumar

A defence lawyer has sought time to reconfirm on a plea in the matter of a 38-year-old man facing domestic traffick­ing and aggravated sexual servi­tude charges.

Josevata Werelagi, who is charged with three counts of domestic traf­ficking in children and one count of aggravated sexual servitude, ap­peared at the High Court in Suva before Justice Daniel Goundar yes­terday.

Defence lawyer from the Legal Aid Commission, Talei Kean told the court that the plea was taken by the court and the accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges, however, she sought time from the court to relook at the evidences in the matter and speak to the ac­cused on his plea.

She told the court that if the ac­cused was in a position to change his plea, the defence would advise the prosecution on the next date.

Justice Goundar had given 14 days to the defence lawyer to speak with Werelagi about the change of his plea.

The matter was adjourned to May 23 for mention.

The accused was further remand­ed in custody by the court.

The Charges:

For the first count, Werelagi is charged with aggravated sexual servitude. It is alleged that be­tween July 18, 2015, and July 22, 2015, in Suva, by the use of threats or force caused a 15-year-old girl to enter into or remain in sexual ser­vitude.

For the second count, Werelagi is charged with domestic traffick­ing in children. It is alleged that on July 18, 2015, in Nausori, he facilitated the transportation of a 15-year-old girl from Nausori Town to Rewa Street in Suva and in fa­cilitating the said transport, with intent that the girl will be used to provide sexual services.

For the third count, Werelagi is charged with domestic traffick­ing in children. It is alleged that on July 19, 2015, in Nausori, he facilitated the transportation of a 15-year-old girl from Waila, Nau­sori to Rewa Street and in facilitat­ing the said transport, with intent that the girl will be used to provide sexual services.

For the fourth count, Werelagi is charged with domestic trafficking in children.

It is alleged that on July 20, 2015, in Nausori, he facilitated the trans­portation of a 15-year-old girl from Waila, Nausori to Rewa Street and in facilitating the said transport, with intent that the girl will be used to provide sexual services.

Edited by Percy Kean



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