Coka­nauto’s case moved to June 2017

Fiji Sun - - Nation - JES­SICA GOUNDER Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika

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.

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