Court De­nies Bail for Rape Ac­cused

Fiji Sun - - NATION - ASHNA KUMAR Edited by Ivamere Nataro Feed­back: ashna.kumar@fi­jisun.

Aman who is al­leged to have raped a young mother in Nau­sori has been re­fused bail pend­ing trial by the High Court in Suva.

Iliesa Cuani­lawa ap­peared be­fore Judge Jus­tice Daniel Goundar on Mon­day for his bail rul­ing.

He faces one count each of ag­gra­vated rob­bery, as­sault with in­tent to rape and rape.

On Fe­bru­ary 27, 2019, it is al­leged that Cuani­lawa, at Vuci Road in Nau­sori, robbed the com­plainant of $1000, one black Sam­sung mo­bile phone val­ued at $349, one black and silver Sam­sung mo­bile phone val­ued at $279, two gold chains val­ued at $600, one 9ct pendant val­ued at $1000, and four gold rings val­ued at $1000.

To­tal value of items is ap­prox­i­mately $4228.

At the time of the al­leged rob­bery, the ac­cused had a knife with him and used per­sonal vi­o­lence on the com­plainant.

He also al­legedly as­saulted the com­plainant with in­tent to com­mit rape.

It is also al­leged that Cuani­lawa had car­nal knowl­edge of the com­plainant with­out her con­sent.

In his rul­ing, Jus­tice Goundar said there was a pre­sump­tion in favour of the grant­ing of bail un­less it was not in the in­ter­ests of jus­tice that bail should be granted.

He said the pri­mary con­sid­er­a­tion was whether the ac­cused was likely to ap­pear for his trial and other con­sid­er­a­tions were the in­ter­ests of thee ac­cused and the pub­lic in­ter­est and the pro­tec­tion of the com­mu­nity. He added the charges were se­ri­ous and the pros­e­cu­tion’s case was po­ten­tially strong.

“The ac­cused does not have a sta­ble em­ploy­ment or strong com­mu­nity ties.

“He has con­vic­tions for bur­glary, theft, pos­ses­sion of il­licit drugs, for­fei­ture of bail bond and crim­i­nal tres­pass since 2007.

“Af­ter tak­ing all these mat­ters into ac­count, the court is sat­is­fied that the ac­cused is un­likely to ap­pear for his trial and that due to his crim­i­nal record, he would make the pro­tec­tion of the com­mu­nity more dif­fi­cult, if he is re­leased on bail,” Jus­tice Goundar said.

In the sub­stan­tive mat­ter, Cuani­lawa claimed that he was as­saulted by the prison of­fi­cers when he was taken to Naboro Prison.

He said he wasn’t aware of why the of­fi­cers al­legedly as­saulted him and that he had re­ported the same to the To­togo Po­lice Sta­tion. Jus­tice Goundar said the claim of as­sault would be a sep­a­rate mat­ter.

The mat­ter has been ad­journed to July 3 for men­tion.

Photo: Ashna Kumar

Iliesa Cuani­lawa out­side the High Court in Suva on June 1, 2020.

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