The Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati, appeared in the District Court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to more than ten criminal charges being brought against him.
The 17 charges, which were not read out in Court, are in relation to the recent General Election.
The complainant is Tautua candidate for Gagaemauga No. 1, Sala Iose McCarthy.
Lawyer Ruby Drake represented the Minister of Police while Leulua’iali’i Tasi Malifa is representing Sala Iose.
District Court Judge, Vaepule Vaemoa Va’ai, is presiding.
Leulua’iali’i told the Court the complainant has 20 witnesses and requested an adjournment to disclose trial documents.
Judge Vaepule accepted the application and adjourned the matter for 27 May 2016 to call witnesses from both sides. The Minister of Police is remanded on liberty.
Pau Sefo Pau in Court
In the meantime, the Member of Parliament for Fa’asaleleaga No. 2, Pau Sefo Pau, also appeared in Court yesterday.
Through his lawyer, Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i, she indicated to the Court that she wants to file an application to quash the charges.
There are four criminal charges filed by Fuga Gauula Salima against the M.P in relation to the General Election. Lawyer Matafeo George Latu is representing Fuga.
Judge Vaepule remanded Pau on liberty and adjourned the matter until 19 April 2016 for the defendant’s lawyer to file a motion to quash the charges.