Court Denies Bail for Rape Accused
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.
Iliesa Cuanilawa outside the High Court in Suva on June 1, 2020.