Crime

Lawyer Under Spotlight For Allegedly Practising Without Valid Certificate

Justice Rajasinghe said that he had informed the Chief Registrar on the conduct of Mr Ravuniwa and requested for an action to be taken against him.
25 Jul 2019 10:00
Lawyer Under Spotlight For Allegedly Practising Without Valid Certificate
The lawyer...Tobia Ravuniwa. The client...Waisake Tulavu. Photo: Ashna Kumar

A lawyer is under the spotlight for allegedly practising without a valid certificate.

Defence lawyer Tobia Ravuniwa, is representing a Nasinu Pastor, Waisake Tulavu.

The matter was called before High Court Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe yesterday afternoon for bail ruling.

However, Tulavu has been remanded in custody because his lawyer failed to appear.

Tulavu told the court that his lawyer (Mr Ravuniwa) had given him the disclosures and documents and left.

Justice Rajasinghe said he found out that Mr Ravuniwa had been allegedly practising without a valid practising certificate since February 2017.

He said he was informed by the Legal Practitioners Unit that Mr Ravuniwa did not have a valid certificate and it was an unprofessional conduct of Mr Ravuniwa to practise.

Justice Rajasinghe said that he had informed the Chief Registrar on the conduct of Mr Ravuniwa and requested for an action to be taken against him.

State prosecutor from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Lavenia Bogitini told the court that Mr Ravuniwa had appeared before Judge Justice Daniel Goundar yesterday morning for the substantive matter.

She also told the court that Justice Goundar’s clerk was informed on the issue and that she tried to contact the law firm (MIQ Lawyers) where Mr Ravuniwa was employed at, however, there was no response to her calls.

Justice Rajasinghe issued a notice for the Legal Practitioners Unit to appear before him this afternoon to confirm on the information about Mr Ravuniwa’s practising certificate.

He also issued a notice to MIQ Lawyers to appear in court and clarify on the issue.

In the substantive matter, the trial has been fixed to commence on October 21 for two weeks.

Tulavu has been remanded in custody and the matter will be called again this afternoon before Justice Rajasinghe.

The client’s charges

Tulavu is charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

The complainants in the matter were not related to the accused, however, they were the members of the church located in Nasinu.

On the first count, on May 11 in Nasinu, Tulavu allegedly performed a sexual act on a 22-year-old woman without her consent.

On the second count of rape, it is alleged that on the same day, Tulavu again performed a sexual act on the 22-year-old complainant without her consent.

On the third count, on the same day, Tulavu allegedly performed a sexual act on the 22-year-old complainant without her consent – for the third time.

In another alleged incident on June 16, Tulavu allegedly raped a 29-year-old woman in Nasinu.

It is also alleged that Tulavu unlawfully and indecently performed a sexual act on a 32-year-old woman.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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