Werelagi trial: Attempt to be good Samaritan ‘backfired’

Josevata Werelagi leaves the High Court in Suva after his trial. Picture: VISHAL KUMAR/FILE

THE High Court in Suva has been told that Josevata Werelagi tried to be a good Samaritan but it “backfired on him”.

Judge Justice Daniel Goundar will sum up the case of the 35-year-old today, who is accused of prostituting a 15-year-old girl in 2015.

Defence counsel Salote Nasedra said the complainant lied in her evidence and there was a possibility that she lied when she was caught by a police officer on the night of the incident.

In his testimony this week, Mr Werelagi said the complainant had basically followed him around on the night in question — from when he left Nausori to Samabula, while he walked from Samabula to
Rewa St where he met his clients, right up to when he returned later that night from Samabula to Nausori.

He said in all the instances where he rode in a vehicle, he was completely unaware she was traveling in the same vehicle — or that she was still around — until he heard her voice calling
out to him.

He said when he returned to Nausori, he took her to sleep at his cousin’s residence because the now 19-year-old said she was pregnant and afraid to return to her own home.

Ms Nasedra also said the evidence given by the two State witnesses were contradictory.

The assessors will deliver their verdict after summing up at 10.30am today.

Mr Werelagi is charged with one count of aggravated sexual servitude and three counts of domestic trafficking in children.

It is alleged that on July 18, 2015 in Suva, by use of threats or force, he had caused the then 15-year-old complainant to enter into or remain in sexual servitude, with intent to cause that sexual servitude and be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution.

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