Crime & Court

Court Acquits 6 Men Accused Of Raping A Woman In Ra

At the conclusion of the evidence and after directions were given in the summing up, the trial assessors unanimously found the men not guilty.
27 Jun 2020 13:45
Court Acquits 6 Men Accused Of Raping A Woman In Ra

Six men accused of raping a woman six years ago in a village in Ra have been acquitted of all charges.

The High Court ruled that the Prosecution case against Epeli Narara, Livai Saukuru, Maika Tuidravu, Pauliasi Degei, Sairusi Tamanisolevu and Suliasi Baleitavea was weak.

The men were charged with six counts of rape.

Narara represented himself during the four-day trial in the High Court in Lautoka while William Rosa of Zodiac Law represented the others.

At the conclusion of the evidence and after directions were given in the summing up, the trial assessors unanimously found the men not guilty.

While analysing the evidence Justice Chamath Morais noted that the only evidence that was related to the alleged incident was the woman’s evidence.

However, he was also mindful that the law does not require corroboration of complainant’s evidence as per Section 129 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

He said the ultimate question was whether the woman’s evidence was trustworthy and reliable.

Justice Morais said her evidence was unclear and there were many contradictions.

He said the woman gave inconsistent answers to many important points and she refrained from answering many important questions.

“Her evidence differs considerably from her statement to the Police. Furthermore, her version of events contains many improbabilities and has many inconsistencies inter-se,” Justice Morais ruled.

“It would be too dangerous to rely on the PW1’s (complainant) evidence. The evidence of the accused and their version of events create a substantial doubt in the weak prosecution case.”

The issue, which was disputed in trial, was the woman’s consent.

Accordingly, Justice Morais upheld the assessor’s not guilty verdict and acquitted the six men of all counts.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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