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Man free of rape charges

Mere Naleba
Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A NAUSORI man accused of rape was acquitted by High Court judge Justice Prabaharan Kumararatnam yesterday.

The 44-year-old man was alleged to have raped the woman who was introduced to him by the wife of his best friend.

The three assessors found the man guilty of one count of rape, but Justice Kumararatnam overturned the guilty opinion by the assessors.

Justice Kumararatnam rejected the case of the prosecution and accepted the case of the defence in this matter.

DPP lawyer Amelia Vavaidakua was the prosecutor in the case while Legal Aid Commission lawyer Seremaia Savou was the defence lawyer.

The prosecution's case was that the suspect had raped the woman on the night he had visited his friend's home; he later fled the area and was staying with his sister in Lami before he was arrested and interviewed by the police.

However, the defence's case was that the man admitted to having sex with the woman who consented to having sex with him.

Mr Savou in his closing submission told the court his client did not ran away but had previously told the complainant he was travelling to Suva to watch a sevens rugby tournament and would be back in the village on Monday.

Mr Savou said the complainant made up the story after the accused's wife found out about the complainant and her husband having an affair.