President pleads guilty to actual bodily harm charge

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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GOING BACK TO THE DISTRICT COURT: President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepulea’i Attila Ropati.

GOING BACK TO THE DISTRICT COURT: President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepulea’i Attila Ropati. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

The President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepulea’i Attila Ropati, has pleaded guilty to a charge of actual bodily harm.

In return, the Prosecution moved to withdraw other charges of grievous bodily harm, common assault and being armed. 

The charges against Fepulea'i stemmed from an incident involving a Security Guard of the Court. 

Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Darryl Clarke granted the application rendered by senior prosecutor, Rexona Titi, this week. 

The defendant is represented by lawyer, Aumua Ming Leung Wai. 

Ms. Titi informed the Court there are four charges against the defendant. 

“This matter was set for hearing this morning and there are four charges against the defendant,” she said. 

“We also respectfully advise the defendant’s lawyer has indicated a guilty plea to the charge of actual bodily harm with intent.  

“And upon that advise, the prosecution seeks the Court’s leave to withdraw the remaining charges.”

She informed the Court that the charges to be withdrawn; grievous bodily harm assault and armed, were alternative charges.  

Aumua confirmed to Justice Leiataualesa they are on the same page. 

“I can confirm what the Prosecution has applied for and respectfully seek to dismiss the remaining charges except for the charge of intent to commit actual bodily harm and the plea through Counsel is guilty,” said Aumua. 

He also sought the Court’s indulgence in transferring the matter back to the District Court to deal with sentencing. 

Ms. Titi did not object to the application by Aumua. 

Justice Leiataualesa granted the application to withdraw and dismiss the charges. 

He also made it clear the earlier plea to common assault has been vacated and the charge is withdrawn and dismissed. 

According to Justice Leiataualesa, the charge of actual bodily harm falls within the jurisdiction of the District Court. 

“Accordingly, this matter will be transferred to District Court for criminal mention on Tuesday 1st of May 2018. 

“The accused is remanded on the same bail conditions and is to reappear in the District Court at 10am,” said Justice Leiataualesa. 

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