Youth disputes prosecution on number of items stolen

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Court House

Court House (Photo: Samoa Observer)

An 18-year-old has appeared before the Supreme Court on one charge of theft of items valued at $7860 and one charge of unlawful entry. 

Lee Atonio Taumaoe appeared before His Honor, Chief Justice Patu Tiavasu’e Falefatu Sapolu, yesterday. While he has pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful entry, he has disputed the number of items that the prosecution alleged he stole on February 11 this year at Tuanaimato, Taumaoe.

The items include 10 crates of large beers valued at $1080, assorted bottles of alcohol spirits valued at $969, assorted bottles of wine, Vailima bottles, Taula bottles and cigarettes totaling $7860 and belonging to Auimatagi Paulo Afamasaga. 

When the registrar asked the defendant about his plea to this particular charge, Taumaoe told the court that he disputed the stolen items.

“Your honor, I only took two boxes of beer and five vodka bottles and peanuts that’s it.

“I did not take the rest of things that were mentioned by the registrar,” he said.

Chief Justice Patu questioned the prosecution regarding this. However, Ms. Sio said prosecution still maintained that the accused took the stolen items highlighted in court.

“Taumaoe, Prosecution is still proceeding with this charge.

“Therefore we will have to set a hearing date for this matter and it will be on August 31, which is next week Friday at 10 o’clock in the morning.

“This is also a good opportunity for you to bring in some witnesses that will testify for you and confirm whether you are right that you did not take all of these products,” said Chief Justice Patu.

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