Attorney General Office’s appeal before Court

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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LAND AND TITLES COURT PRESIDENT: Fepulea'i Atilla Ropati.

LAND AND TITLES COURT PRESIDENT: Fepulea'i Atilla Ropati. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

A hearing of an appeal against the Court’s decision to acquit the President of Land and Titles Court, Fepuleai Atilla Ropati, of charges against him, has been re-set for Monday morning. 

The matter was brought before the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu.

The appeal by the Attorney General follows a decision by District Court Judge Alalatoa Rosella Papalii to discharge Fepuleai without conviction for assaulting a security guard last year.

In Court, lawyer Rexona Titi, of the Attorney General’s Office, asked for an adjournemnt.

“Your Honour, as of date, the Court registrar has yet to provide written documents for the appeal case to be heard despite numerous follow ups from the prosecution,” said Ms. Titi.

“We need those two documents, it has not been released to us and without it we cannot proceed with the appeal.”

The documents, according to Ms. Titi, are the sentencing decision by Judge Alalatoa and transcript of the hearing period.

Chief Justice Patu granted the application and adjourned the matter for mention next week Monday.

“This matter is adjourned to next week for the appellant to obtain written decision and transcript of sentence hearing, prepare and file to the respondent,” he said.

“For the respondent, there is no need for you to appear in Court unless you want to because you are aquitted of the charges.”

Last month, Alalatoa discharged Fepuleai without conviction.

According to a press release issued by the Attorney General immediately after, he confirmed that he will be appealing the decision.

 “The gravity of this offending was in our respectful view, far too serious for the defendant to be granted this result by the District Court."

“The sentence imposed needs to be revisited and I have instructed my assistant Attorney General, Ms. Rexona Titi to file the appeal.”      

The matter will be heard on Monday at 9.30 in the morning.

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