Nalawa found guilty of raping the 9-year-old girl
31-year-old Ilaitia Nalawa
Justice Salesi Temo has found 31-year-old Ilaitia Nalawa guilty of raping the 9-year-old girl in Nakasi in July last year.
He concurred with majority of the assessors who found him guilty of rape, assault with intent to rape, theft and burglary.
Two assessors found Nalawa guilty of all charges while one assessor found him not guilty.
While summing up the case earlier this afternoon, Justice Temo told the three assessors that their decision must be based on the evidence presented in court.
Justice Temo said that the assessors are also to establish what was going through Nalawa’s mind during the incident.
He said that the documentary evidence is also there for the assessors to consider.
The presiding judge told the assessors that the most important witness for the rape allegation was the 9-year-old girl.
He highlighted that the child could not identify the rapist as he was wearing a mask.
Justice Temo said that the prosecution has asked if the assessors could read the questions and answers of the 9-year-old carefully.
He said the defence is saying that they should not rely on the police evidence as it was tampered with.
While giving evidence in the trial earlier this week, the 9-year-old girl confirmed in the High Court that she only saw a tattoo on the man’s leg and a mole on his right finger when she was attacked.
She said it looked like a tattoo of a bird with a beak.
During the cross examination by Nalawa’s lawyer Panapasa Tawake, the girl said she could not see the face of the man as he was wearing a mask.
Prosecution witness Doctor Reapi Mataika who had examined the 9-year-old girl on the 8th of July last year, said the girl was bleeding, she was fearful, she had bruises on her face, swelling on her face, swelling on the left eye, bruises on her neck, a cut on her upper lip and part of her eye was bleeding.
The doctor said that the 9-year-old was vomiting and she could not eat as she could not open her mouth.
Defence lawyer Panapasa Tawake had said that the prosecution had charged the wrong person.
Ilaitia Nalawa was also asked by his lawyer to stand up in court earlier this week and show his right small finger and the back of his legs to the assessors in order to prove that he had none of the markings.
There was no mole or tattoo on Nalawa in those two specific places.
The case has been adjourned to 12pm Monday for mitigation and sentencing.
Source : Connect Fiji Lounge