Sexual Abuse

Deuba murder and rape accused pleads not guilty to 24 counts

A man charged with abduction, rape of two females and murder of a girl in Navua appeared in the High Court today before Judge Justice Salesi Temo. Josua Colanaudolu pleaded not guilty to all the twenty-four charges of abduction, rape of two females and murder a 14-year-old girl in Deuba, earlier this year. The twenty-four charges […]

Peni Shute

May 27, 2016 1:20 am

A man charged with abduction, rape of two females and murder of a girl in Navua appeared in the High Court today before Judge Justice Salesi Temo.

Josua Colanaudolu being escorted by a police officer outside the Suva High Court today. (Peni Shute/Newswire)
Josua Colanaudolu being escorted by a police officer outside the Suva High Court. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

Josua Colanaudolu pleaded not guilty to all the twenty-four charges of abduction, rape of two females and murder a 14-year-old girl in Deuba, earlier this year.

The twenty-four charges were read out in court, Colanaudolu understood each charge and pleaded not guilty.

Justice Temo said that under the constitution the Defence had the right to know the types of theories and evidence that are to be used.

Prosecution Lawyer and the Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Lee Burney said that charges are all straight forward theories and Colanaudolu is a dangerous sexual predator.

Colanaudolu’s lawyer Barbara Malimali requested if her client could be taken for a medical review at the CWM Hospital.

Justice Temo said in his years of being a Magistrate Judge and High Court Judge he has seen people use the hospital as a chance to escape.

Justice Temo told Malimali that if a review is needed, a medical report must be provided and her request should be in writing.

Justice Temo adjourned the matter to the 3rd of June in which the theory of the case and the type of evidence to be relied on in order to ground a possible conviction on the accused on all the twenty-four charges.

A man charged with abduction, rape and murder of a girl appeared in the High Court today before Judge Justice Salesi Temo.

Josua Colanaudolu is charged with the abduction, rape and murder a 14-year-old girl in Deuba, earlier this year.

The accused now faces a total of 24 counts consisting of 10 counts of abduction, 1 count of indecent assault, 12 counts of rape and 1 count of murder.

Colanaudolu’s lawyer Romanu Vananalagi confirmed that he had received a copy of the consolidated information.

Assistant DPP, Lee J Burney asked for the facts to be sorted out before a plea is taken.

The matter has been adjourned to 27 May 2016 for plea.

Justice Temo said by the consent of the parties the trial is set for 1st of May to the 12th of May next year for the prosecution to present to court evidence and witnesses.

The accused has been further remanded in custody.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Christopher Pryde, is concerned at the reporting of events by some media organisations surrounding the arrest and charge of Josua Colanaudolu in the Deuba murder case currently before the courts.

Mr Pryde said in a statement that the media are reminded that since the accused has now been charged, speculation on the accused’s background or other issues concerning the case are sub judice and therefore, media reports must be confined to what is actually said in court.

Mr Pryde said any breach of the sub judice rule by members of the media or people commenting through social media is a contempt of court and could potentially result in a mistrial.

Mr Pryde said any person or media organisation breaching the sub judice rule may also be liable for prosecution.

He added that it must be remembered that all accused persons have a constitutional right to a fair trial and that an accused person is innocent until the charge has been proved beyond reasonable doubt by the court.

Josua Colanaudolu who is charged with 1 count of rape of a 16-year-old girl in 2014 appeared before High Court Judge Justice Salesi Temo in the High Court this afternoon.

Judge Justice Salesi Temo informed the court that the case will be adjourned for mention on the 13th of April since the accused Colanaudolu has another case in court on the same day.

Josua Colanaudolu, the 39-year-old security officer from Deuba was charged with five counts of rape dating back to 1998 and for the abduction and murder of student Mere Ailevu in Deuba earlier this month.

joshua-colanaudolu-edit
Josua Colanaudolu, 39, being escorted to the Suva High Court this afternoon. (Ashutosh Singh/Newswire)

Judge Justice Temo was also informed by the State Prosecution that they were still awaiting files from the Navua Magistrates court regarding the accused.

Yesterday, Colanaudolu’s case was brought before the Navua Magistrate Court instead of the Suva Magistrate Court.

Colanaudolu is charged with:

  • 1 count of rape – 13-year-old girl in 1998
  • 1 count of rape – 16-year-old girl in 2002
  • 1 count of rape – 16-year-old girl in 2014
  • 2 counts of rape – 14-year-old girl in 2016
  • 1 count of murder – Mere Ailevu
  • 1 count of abduction – Mere Ailevu

According to police, the suspect is an adopted son of a pastor.  He is also a known ‘drug lord’ in that area.

ACP Luke Navela at a press conference in Suva today. (Ashutosh Singh/Newswire.)
ACP Luke Navela at a press conference in Suva yesterday. (Ashutosh Singh/Newswire.)

At a press conference on Wednesday, Chief of Investigations Officer ACP Luke Navela said they received tip-offs from members of the public and were able to make the arrest.

We can say that he is a serial rapist.   There were investigations conducted, there was evidence there, and he confessed to the murder.

These charges have been laid to the man after 19days of vigorous and thorough investigations in the area.

Upon investigations, other similar incidents of rape were also brought to our attention with more expected to come out soon.

Navela said some victims may be hesitant about approaching police because they were fearful of their security.

The man had been committing the offence for a number of years and people living around the nearby settlements never reported the matter as the suspect’s mother had been engaged in the traditional process of seeking forgiveness or through the religious means of apologizing.

The woman has since passed away and the 39yr old man continued with this immoral act of rape.

Police confirmed the suspect acted alone in the murder of Mere Ailevu.

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