Church pastor refused bail

Waisake Tulavu outside the High Court in Suva. Picture: VISHAAL KUMAR

A CHURCH pastor charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault was refused bail by the High Court in Suva yesterday.

Waisake Tulavu appeared before judge Justice Daniel Goundar.

It is alleged he committed the offences on a 22-year-old woman and a 32-year-old woman between May 11, 2018 and September 12, 2018.

Mr Tulavu is also charged with another senior church member Sakiusa Nakutoro for rape of another woman aged 29.

Mr Nakutoro is charged with one count of rape and had been granted bail earlier.

He has opted to become a State witness in the matter.

Earlier in the week, State prosecutor Lavenia Bogitini objected to the bail application made by the defence on the basis that Mr Tulavu would interfere with witnesses in the case.

Ms Bogitini said the alleged incidents were committed in pretence that it would bring deliverance.

Justice Goundar denied the bail application and advised the court that the accused was faced with serious charges and that he was also alleged to have sexually abused the three complainants with the same modus.

The case has been adjourned to March 26.

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