NEWS

Lawyer’s Boss Not Aware Of Counsel Lawyer Practising Without Licence

Mr Kilakila told the court that Mr Ravuniwa did not have a valid practicing certificate since February, 2017.
26 Jul 2019 11:12
Lawyer’s Boss Not Aware Of Counsel Lawyer Practising Without Licence
L-R: Isireli Romanu of MIQ Lawyers with Tobia Ravuniwa.

Lawyer Isireli Romanu from MIQ Lawyers yesterday told the Suva High Court that he did not have any knowledge of lawyer Tobia Ravuniwa appearing in court for court cases.

This is in the matter of Nasinu Pastor, Waisake Tulavu, who is facing rape and sexual assault charges.

Mr Ravuniwa was representing Tulavu before the court heard that he had been practising without a valid practicing certificate.

The matter was called before High Court Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe yesterday.

Mr Romanu from MIQ Lawyers and Tui Kilakila from the Legal Practitioners Unit (LPU) appeared before Justice Rajasinghe after he had issued a notice for their appearance in court.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was represented by Lavenia Bogitini.

Justice Rajasinghe asked Mr Kilakila to confirm to the court if Mr Ravuniwa had a valid practicing certificate.

He also told the court that the last practicing certificate issued to Mr Ravuniwa had expired on February 28, 2017, and since then there was no notice from Mr Ravuniwa.

Mr Kilakila also told the court that the LPU had received a registered complaint by the High Court Criminal Registry on Mr Ravuniwa’s appearances in court without a valid practicing certificate.

Ms Bogitini told the court that the State was serving all documents related to the matter to the MIQ Lawyers.

Justice Rajasinghe questioned Mr Romanu if he had any knowledge of Mr Ravuniwa’s appearances in court.

Mr Romanu told the court that he did not have any knowledge of the same and also confirmed that he did not sign any court or legal documents for the matter.

Ms Bogitini had shown Mr Romanu documents which contained his signatures and Mr Romanu told the court that those were not his signatures.

Justice Rajasinghe then questioned that the bail application before him and the notice of motion was filed by a person who was not a lawyer and if the court could still consider it.

Mr Kilakila told the court that under the section, a person who held a practicing certificate was deemed to be an officer of the court. However, he could not confirm whether the court could consider the documents.

Justice Rajasinghe then asked Mr Kilakila to find out more on the same.

The matter was adjourned for mention this afternoon.

Tulavu was further remanded in custody.

The 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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