Medical officer fronts court

Tanya Waqanika and her client Dr Joji Vakadiwaiwai leave the Suva Magistrates Court on Monday. Picture: IAN CHUTE

A senior medical officer from the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWM), charged with two counts of sexual assault, was granted bail by the Suva Magistrates Court on Monday.

Dr Joji Vakadiwaiwai was produced before Resident Magistrate Indula Ratnayake.

Dr Vakadiwaiwai, who appeared for a similar matter on June 17, was alleged to have procured the complainant, a medical intern at the CWM, unlawfully and indecently assaulted the complainant by touching her and attempting to open the zip of her pants.

It was also alleged Dr Vakadiwaiwai, without her consent, committed gross indecency by exposing his private parts.

Police prosecutor Sitiveni Baleitaveuni said the State was objecting to the bail on the grounds that the alleged offences were breach of trust offence and serious in nature, and that the accused and complainant worked together at the material time.

He also said investigations found a number of reports arose and that there were pending investigations for similar offences.

Defence lawyer Tanya Waqanika told the court the offences her client faced were on the lower spectrum of the sexual offence crimes and that her client was suspended on June 14, meaning there was no possibility of interference with State witnesses as the accused was not in or around of CWM.

Ms Waqanika said the previous case had become a harassment case since the matter was first called two weeks ago.

Mr Ratnayake granted Dr Vakadiwaiwai bail with a cash bond of $2000, a personal non-cash bond of $2000, and two sureties with a non-cash bond of $2000 each.

The matter will be called again on August 15 for mention.

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