Cokanauto’s case moved to June 2017
The trial of a 54-year-old pastor who is facing 10 counts consisting six of rape and four of indecent assault has been set by the High Court in Suva from June 12-23 next year. Justice Salesi Temo has further extended Jone Cokanauto’s bail. Cokanauto had pleaded not guilty to all 10 counts on June 3. The prosecution told the court that the accused had used his authority as a pastor to have non-consensual sexual intercourse with the four complainants. All the complainants are said to be between the ages of 21 to 27. During the time of the incident Cokanauto allegedly made the complainants believe that the nature of the act was spiritual and that it was a redeeming process. For counts one, two and three which involves the first victim the prosecution will rely on the direct evidence of the complainant and a DNA report of an offspring that resulted from the alleged act. For counts four and five which involves the second victim the prosecution relies on the direct evidence of the complainant. For count six and seven which involves the third complainant the prosecution relies on the direct evidence of the complainant. For counts eight, nine and ten which involves the fourth complainant that prosecution relies on the direct evidence of the complainant. For all the counts there are no admissions by the accused. Justice Temo said: “There is no alleged confessions on the allegations so there will be no trial within a trial.” The state has eight witnesses of which four are civilians, three are Police officers and one is a doctor. The court has been adjourned to September 2 for pre-trial conference and written reasons.