25 May 2005

Fiji retailers applaud caning of rapist

4:10 pm on 25 May 2005

The Fiji Retailers Association has applauded the courts for adding caning to the sentence of a man charged with the abduction and rape of a German tourist.

The Fiji Times quotes the association president, Himmat Lodhia, as saying that although it may sound barbaric, caning is probably the biggest deterrent for such offenders.

He made the comment following the jailing for 20 years of a 27-year old Nadi truck driver, Alvin Kumar, after he admitted charges of rape, robbery with violence, wrongful confinement and abduction.

Kumar and an accomplice, who has just been arrested, picked up the 22-year old woman and her 23-year old male friend from outside a Nadi hotel last Wednesday night before committing the offences.

Nadi magistrate Sayed Mukhtar Shah added five strokes of the cane to the jail term.

Mr Lodhia says the government should borrow from Singapore's tough laws to make Fiji a safer place.

He says tourism is very important to the country and it takes only a few people to tarnish its image.

The minister for tourism, Pita Nacuva, who was present in court, apologised to the German couple and tried to comfort them.