Two members of a church youth group from Lepanoni took the stand in the Josua Colanaudolu rape and murder trial today.
21-year-old Josivini Maraia told the court that she saw Colanaudolu jump over the fence from the beachside while she was going to the canteen along Queen’s Highway on the night of March 13th last year.
She said that she saw Colanaudolu again on the beachside.
Maraia also confirmed that Colanaudolu is her uncle.
Presiding judge Justice Salesi Temo then asked the witness something in the Itaukei language.
Assistant DPP Lee Burney said that he is not used to be in a trial where the judge takes over the questioning process.
Justice Temo then told Burney to just prosecute.
He said that he will only record material that are important to the case and Burney does not have to tell him what has to be done.
Maraia then told the court that she went past her aunt’s house later that night and saw Colanaudolu coming out from the bathroom.
She said that Colanaudolu was fanning himself with a t-shirt and said ‘vasu’ to her.
Maraia then went back to her place and saw her aunt looking for her 14-year-old daughter.
During the cross examination by defence lawyer Michael Fesaitu, he asked Maraia whether she saw Colanaudolu from the lights of some vehicles.
Maraia said that she was certain that it was Colanaudolu after Fesaitu put to her that she made a mistake.
She also said that she had observed him for a few minutes.
The second state witness who is also a member of the church youth group in Lepanoni, Mereia Kula said that she saw a man along Queen’s Highway close to the beach after they finished their church service at 10pm on the night of March 13th last year.
Kula said that the person squatted down in the bush when a car was coming.
She said as the car went by, another car came by and through the lights of that car, she saw the man carrying something across to the beach.
Kula said that it looked like the person was carrying timber.
She said the person threw the thing that looked like timber over the fence and then he walked along the fence to the other side.
Kula said that she did not see where the person took the thing that looked like timber.
She said the person looked like a man.
Another church youth group member, Sereti Chapman is currently taking the stand.
39-year-old security officer Josua Colanaudolu is facing one count of murder, 6 counts of rape, 4 counts of abduction and one count of indecently annoying a female.
The charges include the case where Colanaudolu allegedly abducted, raped and murdered a 14-year-old girl in Deuba in March last year.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.