Crime

Lawyer Files No Case to Answer Application

While giving his submission, Mr Sharma told the court that the evidence in the case was not clear on each of the counts his client was charged with.
21 Aug 2019 13:36
Lawyer Files No Case to Answer Application
Prominent Suva lawyer, Devanesh Sharma

Defence lawyer Devanesh Sharma has filed a no case to answer application in the case of a former National Federation Party provisional candidate who was originally facing 11 sexual offence charges.

The matter was called before Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe for the seventh day of the trial at the High Court in Suva yesterday.

While giving his submission, Mr Sharma told the court that the evidence in the case was not clear on each of the counts his client was charged with.

He told the court that there was a prosecutorial misconduct that was unfair.

He also told the court that at the time of the arrest and detention in Police custody, his client was also assaulted, which caused injuries to the accused resulting in him being hospitalised at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital prior to being produced in court.

He told the court that his client’s constitutional rights were breached at the time of the accused being in Police custody.

Mr Sharma told the court that there was suppression of evidence such as the broken bed, position of the bed, the baby oil which the complainant had claimed his client had used on her and the clothes that were allegedly torn, have not been tendered as prosecution exhibits during the trial.

He told the court that he was informed by the prosecution that the photographs that were taken at the alleged crime scene were corrupted.

Justice Rajasinghe said the prosecution should read and inspect all the aspects of the case before proceeding with the matter to trial.

“If you have evidence in collaboration of the case then it is one of the best things to provide as evidence to the court.”

Meanwhile, two rape charges and two sexual assault charges against the accused were dropped yesterday morning.

The 66-year-old accused now faces five counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault.

Justice Rajasinghe will deliver his no case to answer ruling this morning.

The alleged incident

It is alleged the man raped his 54-year-old sister-in-law in Suva on June 28, last year.

It is alleged the man approached the woman and asked if he could spend the night at her house because he was too tired after a wedding and could not go back home.

The man allegedly started knocking on the woman’s bedroom door in the middle of the night and then forcefully got into the room.

He then allegedly raped the woman. The woman managed to free herself and locked the man in the bathroom and sought help from a friend who then informed the Police.

The State is represented by Ms Sharma and Meli Vosawale from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The accused is represented by lawyers Mr Sharma and his associate Sharoneel Deo.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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