St. Mary statue man told to find a lawyer

By Deidre Fanene ,

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Tavita Sa’u of Si’ufaga Falelatai.

Tavita Sa’u of Si’ufaga Falelatai. (Photo: File)

The man accused of removing a “sacred” statue of St. Mary from inside the E.F.K.S church at Si’ufaga damaging has been told to find a lawyer.

The instruction comes from Chief Justice His Honor Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu  when Tavita Sa’u of Si’ufaga Falelataai appeared yesterday.

Last week the matter was referred from the District Court to the Supreme Court due to the seriousness of the allegations.

But the accused had asked the Court that he wanted a lawyer.

It was then that the Chief Justice adjourned the matter.

“This matter will be adjourned till next week,” he told the accused.

“As of now you will still be remain in custody.

“The court will instruct the police officers to allow you a cell phone and the list of lawyers so you can contact one to represent you in Court.”

According to the Police Summary of facts, Sa’u is charged with burglary and willful damage. 

The man is accused of removing the statue of Mary, which has been at the centre of a controversy between Reverend Opapo Soanai of the Si’ufaga Church and the Elders Committee of the E.F.K.S Church.

The statue of Mary – and that of Jesus Christ - led to the decision by the church’s mother body to strip Reverend Soanai of his pastoral position. 

At the time when the statue was removed, Rev. Opapo speculated that the removal of the statue was not a one-man job given its size and weight.

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