NEWS

Former 7s star Loses Conviction Appeal Bid

He appealed against his conviction and filed a bail pending appeal application which was also refused by the Acting Resident Judge, Justice Chandana Prematilaka.
10 Sep 2021 11:07
Former 7s star Loses Conviction Appeal Bid
Former Fijian 7s star Amenoni Nasilasila was charged and convicted of rape. He was jailed for eight years, with a non-parole period of six years. Photo: Ashna Kumar

The Fiji Court of Appeal has refused leave to appeal against conviction in the case of former Fijian 7s player, Amenoni Nasilasila.

The 29-year-old  was charged and convicted for the rape of a 24-year-old woman at Olosara, Sigatoka, on December 22, 2018.

Nasilasila is serving a sentence of eight years with a non-parole period of six years.

He appealed against his conviction and filed a bail pending appeal application which was also refused by the Acting Resident Judge, Justice Chandana Prematilaka.

Nasilasila’s grounds of appeal were:

n That the Judge erred in law and in fact by overturning the unanimous not guilty decisions of the assessors

n He also filed on the ground that the judge had misdirected himself when he stated that since Nasilasila had not given evidence, there was no evidence from him to contract the account of the victim

n He had also wished to criticise his former trial counsels on the grounds that he was about three-quarter way into his caution interview with the Police on 22 December 2018 he was advised by Unaisi Baleilevuka, one of two of his former trial counsel vide mobile phone to remain silent and to say everything in court which did not happen.

 

Judge’s ruling

Justice Prematilaka said it was clear that the gist of all criticisms/allegations was the incompetence of the trial counsel and therefore to succeed in appeal the appellant must convince the appellate court that either the alleged incompetence of trial counsel (such as not presenting his defence to court) caused a miscarriage of justice in that it affected the outcome of the trial in such a way as to cause the appellant squander a reasonable prospect of acquittal in the light of the totality of evidence or the alleged conduct of trial counsel otherwise deprived him of due process of law or a fair trial.

Both trial counsels in their affidavits had refuted the allegations put forth by Nasilasila.

Justice Prematilaka ruled that the grounds of appeal filed by Nasilasila did not have merit and no reasonable prospect of success in appeal.

He said since he had already decided that Nasilasila’s appeal against conviction had no reasonable prospect of success his conviction appeal obviously failed to reach the higher threshold of ‘very high likelihood of success’.

“Therefore, it is not necessary to consider other two factors under section 17(3).

“The appellant has not demonstrated any judicially recognizable exceptional circumstances independent of section 17(3) considerations in the form of extremely adverse personal circumstances either.”

Feedbackashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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