Crime & Court | NEWS

Vakarisi Pleads Not Guilty; Bail Refused

The accused is alleged to have confronted the victim and asked where he was living. The accused allegedly did not like the response given and assaulted the victim.
06 Oct 2022 09:48
Vakarisi Pleads Not Guilty; Bail Refused
Jone Vakarisi handcuffed alongside a Police officer while being escorted to the Magistrates Court in Suva on October 5, 2022. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Jone Vakasiri has pleaded not guilty to the alleged assault of a 20-year-old chef in Raiwaqa on June 28.

Vakasiri is charged with one count of assault causing actual bodily harm.

He appeared before Magistrate Indula Ratnayake yesterday.

The accused is alleged to have confronted the victim and asked where he was living. The accused allegedly did not like the response given and assaulted the victim.

In court, Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Riteshni Lata served the full phase of disclosures while Vakarisi opted to represent himself.

 

Bail Objections

Sergeant Lata objected to Vakarisi’s bail on the grounds that the case was of public interest and for the protection of the community.

She said if the accused was granted bail, it was highly likely that he would interfere with the complainant who was at risk.

She said the objection was for the safety of the complainant.

 

Sergeant Lata also highlighted that Vakarisi had previous convictions with six pending matters before the Magistrates Court in Suva.

She also highlighted that in the recent matter in which Vakarisi was granted bail in, he was ordered not to re-offend however; he allegedly re- offended.

She said the prosecution had eye witnesses of the incident and had a strong case against Vakarisi.

 

Bail Response

Vakarisi told the court that he was still presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He said the date of the offence he faced was of June 28 and that he was in remand for a matter he was charged of dated June 29.

He said the case was brought by the same Police Station and raised questions of why couldn’t the Police charge him together at once since there was a difference of a day.

 

He also responded saying that the matters before the Court were pending and were just mere allegations.

He said he had four children and he was looking after his youngest child while he was renting paying $2000 rent per month.

He asked the court not to make him lose his home. Vakarisi told the court that he did not commit any offence.

 

Bail Ruling

While refusing bail, Magistrate Ratnayake ruled that there was a high likelihood that Vakarisi would commit further offences if he was granted bail.

He said Vakarisi was a potential threat to the community and it was for the interest of the public for him to stay in remand pending trial.

The matter will be called for mention on November 4 to fix the matter for hearing.

 

Story by: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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