Court allows man on rape charge to travel

The High Court in Lautoka has allowed a businessman charged with rape to travel overseas after posting two fresh surety bonds of $25,000 each and an order that the Westpac Bank hold onto the original copy of a property with Certificate of Title No 21484 (RP-5).

The businessman is charged with one count of rape in a case where the complainant is his wife.

On August 3, 2023, he was granted bail by the Lautoka Magistrate’s Court and the conditions that he surrender his passport and be subject to a stop departure order banning his travel out of Viti Levu.

“After the applicant has been caution interviewed for the current charge on 23 February 2023, he has been released. During the period the applicant was being investigated for the current allegation, he has travelled abroad and returned to Fiji,” stated Justice Aruna Aluthge in his September 8 ruling.

“The applicant has demonstrated his intention to defend the charge against him.

“He has denied the allegation at the caution interview and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

“In a bail consideration, the strength of the defence case, specifically in a case which turns on one word against the other, is equally important as much as it does in the prosecution case.”

Justice Aluthge ordered the accused must produce a surety bond with two new sureties, in addition to the existing two sureties, who shall sign a fresh surety bond of $25,000 each.

“The Fiji passport of the applicant to be released to the applicant upon completion of all documentary requirements, signing of the surety bonds, and depositing the additional cash bond of FJD 15,000. 00.

“The original of the Certificate of Title bearing No 21484 (RP-5) to be deposited in safe custody of the High Court Registry and will be released on an application made to court to that effect upon completion of his overseas travels.”

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