Crime

Judge Rules Case to Answer in Rape Trial Against 66-Year-Old Man

The accused was initially charged with seven counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault. However, Justice Rajasinghe acquitted the accused on two counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault.
22 Aug 2019 13:54
Judge Rules Case to Answer in Rape Trial Against 66-Year-Old Man

The High Court in Suva has ruled that there is a case to answer in the rape trial of a 66-year-old dentist and former National Federation Party provisional candidate.

Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe delivered the ruling yesterday.

The accused was initially charged with seven counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault.

However, Justice Rajasinghe acquitted the accused on two counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault.

“There is no evidence for the main elements of the two counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault and therefore acquit him accordingly,” he said.

Justice Rajasinghe said there was a case to answer on five other counts of rape and two other counts of sexual assault.

It is alleged the man raped his 54-year-old sister-in-law in Nasinu 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.

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

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

Trial day 8:

In court yesterday, the accused took the stand and gave evidence as the defence’s first witness.

The accused told the court that the complainant was charged for an offence of obtaining money under false pretence in 2004.

However, he could not tell the court what the outcome of the case was.

The accused also told the court that he was invited by the complainant and her husband to officiate some prayers on certain occasions and at that time, he told the court that they had a good relationship as a family.

The accused told the court that Father John, who is known to the complainant through her Church ministry, contacted the accused early last year and informed the accused that the complainant had sent him (Father John) to meet with the accused.

He also told the court that the complainant had called him on his phone during one of his visits to Suva during his political campaign period.

The accused told the court that he had met with the complainant at McDonald’s restaurant in Suva sometime after 8 am on a Sunday.

He told the court that they conversed about the property issue that the complainant had faced where he had recorded the parts of the conversation as a voice recording on his mobile phone.

The trial continues before Justice Rajasinghe today.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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