A man accused of stealing a truck as well as other products valued at more than $80,000 appeared before Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu, for sentence yesterday.
The truck and the goods belong to a Chinese businessman identified as Muliagatele Wilson Fang.
He is charged with two charges of burglary and two charges of theft.
According to the Police summary of facts, the incident occurred on the 24th of May.
“On the 24th May, he took a Mitsubishi Truck worth of $80,000, 20 cases of mosquito coils, 30 cases of canned fish, 40 sacks of rice, 10 sacks of flour, 5 sacks of salt and 40 cartons of Shasta drinks.”
Chief Justice Patu then asked the defendant what he did with the stolen goods.
“Your Honour, on the day I was charged I returned all the goods together with the vehicle back to the Police,” the defendant told the Court.
“I didn’t use any of the goods that I took.”
But the Prosecutor, Anne Matalasi, of the Attorney General’s Office disputed this.
“Your Honour, if I may, according to the victim’s report all the items that were inside the truck were taken by the accused,” said Ms. Matalasi.
The defendant was adamant all the goods and the truck were returned.
“The Police officers that came to arrest me know that I gave everything back to them and they said they will deliver it back to the owner.”
The Chief Justice then told the Prosecutor to look into the matter.
“I would like confirmation from the Police that everything were returned to the owner because the return of those things is a mitigating factor that relates to the defendant,” said His Honour.
“In other words the victim did not lose everything, and now the accused is saying the goods together with the truck were returned not to the owner but to the Police.
“So I would like an explanation from the Police whether what the accused is telling the Court is true or not and if it’s true then where are the goods?
“If not true then I will not take into account a mitigation the return of any goods by the accused.”
This matter has been rescheduled for today.