Charges against Minister withdrawn

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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MINISTER: Sala Fata Pinati.

MINISTER: Sala Fata Pinati.

The Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati, walked away a free man from the Court yesterday.

It follows the decision to withdraw and dismiss 17 election-related charges against him.

Sala had faced five counts of bribery and 12 counts of treating prior to yesterday’s decision.

The matter was called in the District Court before Judge Fepulea'i Ameperosa Roma. However, Leuluaiali’i Tasi Malifa, the lawyer for the complainant, Sala Iose McCarthy, asked the Court for the matter to be discontinued.

Leuluaiali’i told the Court that the dispute has been settled between the complainant and the defendant and therefore they do not want the matter to continue.

The defendant’s lawyer, Ruby Drake, said her client does not object to the application.

Judge Fepulea’i then granted the application. The charges were withdrawn and dismissed.

Outside of the courtroom, the complainant Sala Iose was in tears. He said he had to follow advice from the chiefs of his village in Savai’i. “I was shocked to see people from my village in Savai’i this morning,” he said. 

“There presence here means a lot to me. I know some of them had travelled far and they hadn’t had any sleep to be here for this decision.

 “So I thought who am I not to listen to my village’s plea? That’s why I wanted to end this now.” 

Sala, the Minister of Police and Tourism was a grateful man.

 “I thank God,” he said. “For he is the only one who can do greater things. We are just servants.” 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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