Tears of joy and relief flowed freely in the District Court yesterday.
It followed Judge Vaepule Vaemoa Vaai’s verdict which found the President of the Samoa Victims Support Group (S.V.S.G), Siliniu Lina Chang, not guilty of several charges brought against her.
The decision, however, did not go the same way for other defendants.
Siliniu was accused of attempting to defeat the course of justice along with Superintendent Sala’a Sale Sala’a, S.V.S.G staff member, Tumua Luafalealo and Elaine Elena Ulia Faiga.
The charges arose from a criminal prosecution against Mrs. Faiga in 2013, which was dismissed when plaintiff Susan Stowers had left the country.
In the District Court yesterday, Judge Vaepule found Siliniu and Sala’a not guilty.
But Mrs. Faiga was found guilty of coercing a key witness, Foai Galue Malo between 20th February and 10th May 2013 to leave for American Samoa.
On the other hand, Mrs. Luafalealo was found guilty of calling Ms. Stowers on 11th November 2013 telling her not to cooperate with the Police investigation.
Judge Vaepule briefly read out his verdict and dismissed the Court for sentencing on the 23rd March.
Siliniu and Mrs. Luafalealo were represented by lawyer Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu.
Lawyer Papali’I Lio Taeu Masipau stood for Superintendent Sala’a and Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i was the lawyer for Mrs. Faiga.
Fepuleai Patrick Fepuleai and Diana Roma were the prosecutors.
The full decision will be published in tomorrow’s edition.