Judiciary, Executive are separate, P.M. points out

By Joyetter Luamanu ,

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Land and Titles Court President, Fepuleai Attila Ropati and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

Land and Titles Court President, Fepuleai Attila Ropati and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has dodged questions in relation to the President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepuleai Attila Ropati, being charged. 

Told that members of the public want to know why he has not been stood down to await his hearing, Tuilaepa said that is not his call to make.

He said the Courts are run by the Judiciary and what they do is up to them.

But he said he is confident in the  “wisdom and foresight” of the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Sapolu, to make the right decision.

During the interview with the Samoa Observer, it was put to the Prime Minister that when one of his Cabinet Ministers was criminally charged, he stepped down to protect the integrity of the Executive branch. 

“Look, these are totally two different things,” he said. 

“We are the Executive and what you are talking about belongs to the Judiciary. These are totally two different things, we don’t have any authority over that.”

The Prime Minister said common sense would prevail.

“Look, there is wisdom and common sense that can be utilised to handle the situation. 

“The Chief Justice also has wisdom and common sense to deal with these issues.”

For any leader, Tuilaepa said they must have wisdom to deal with such matters. 

Last week, the President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepulea’i Attila Ropati, was charged in relation to an incident where he has been accused of assaulting a Security officer.

The charges of assault, being armed with a dangerous weapon and causing injury were laid on Monday afternoon when Fepulea’i was called into the Police station.

The President has been remanded at liberty until his Court appearance.

Police Superintendent and Media Spokesperson, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo, said: “I can confirm that the President of the L.T.C. will appear in the District Court on March 13, 2018.”

He declined to elaborate on the details.

Approached for a comment, Fepulea’i declined. 

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