A MAN has been discharged of rape following a committal hearing conducted on his case in the Honiara Magistrates Court.
A long form preliminary inquiry was conducted on Malcolm Akoforau’s case and the court found no evidence of rape.
Principal Magistrate Shepherd Lapo said he agreed with the prosecution that the purpose of the preliminary inquiry is not to determine the guilt of the accused in the alleged offence.
But he said the Magistrates were given power under section 217 of the Criminal Procedure Code provided that if after the close of the prosecution or after the hearing of the defence, the Magistrates can consider the case against the accused is not sufficient can shall forthwith order him to be discharged as to the particular charge under inquiry.
“Having looked through the depositions in particular the evidence of the alleged victim and another witness I found insufficient evidence to suggest that force, threat or intimidation had occurred to substantiate elements of rape,” Mr Lapo said.
He said there is insufficient evidence to commit the accused to the High Court for trial and therefore had him discharged under section 217 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Akoforau, who was an agent for an Apple Company in New Zealand and the alleged victim, was a selected seasonal worker.
She claimed the accused raped her in his vehicle after offering her a lift home way back in 2011.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN