Candidates back in Court, accused of false declarations

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia ,

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Tu’ula Kiliri Tuitui of Lepa and Le Tagaloa Pita.

Tu’ula Kiliri Tuitui of Lepa and Le Tagaloa Pita.

Four candidates who were disqualified from contesting the General Election in March were back in the District Court yesterday. They are Leo’o Dr. John Adams, Le Tagaloa Pita, Taula Faulaau Simi and Tu’ula Kiliri Tuitui, the man who attempted to run against Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, at Lepa. 

The candidates are being accused by the Office of the Electoral Commissioner of making false declarations in the lead up to the election.

District Court Judge, Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke, is presiding.

In the case of Leo’o who was a candidate for Aleipata Itupa i Luga, he entered a not guilty plea.

He was represented by lawyer, Te’o Richard Fa’aiuaso.

Leo’o will appear again on 4 July 2016. 

Taula Faulaau Simi was another candidate for Aleipata Itupa I Luga. 

He withdrew his candidacy in February. However in the District Court yesterday Taula is being charged for giving a false declaration in relation to a previous conviction.

He pleaded guilty and asked the Court if he could say something. 

But this was not allowed. 

“At this stage of proceedings, it’s not yet to the point where we raise sentencing,” said Judge Leiataualesa. “It’s only a matter of taking your plea and will request for pre-sentencing report for you and if you have any matter you want to raise you may (do so) with the Probation office.”

The Judge adjourned the matter until 12th May to obtain summary of facts and pre-sentencing report. 

Palauli ile Falefa

Le Tagaloa Pita who contested from Palauli ile Falefa also took the stand. 

Represented by lawyer Sarona Ponifasio she informed the Court that her client wishes to leave jurisdiction and will return in May. 

Prosecuting lawyer, Iliganoa Atoa said charges needed to be finalised and asked for anadjournment. 

Leiataualesa granted the application and adjourned for 10th May. 

Prior to election, Le Tagaloa was unable to contest following an eligibility challenge lodged by M.P for Palauli ile Falefa, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga. 

Lastly was the sole candidate for Lepa against the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Tu’ula Kiliri Tuitui. 

Ms. Atoa asked for an adjournment while her office finalises the charges against Tu’ula. 

Its been adjourned until 3rd May. 

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