Chief Justice asks for evidence in appeal

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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FOUND NOT GUILTY: Mauga Precious Chang (left) was found not guilty by the District Court last year.

FOUND NOT GUILTY: Mauga Precious Chang (left) was found not guilty by the District Court last year. (Photo: File)

Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu, has given two weeks to the prosecutor representing the Attorney General’s Office to prepare a written submission of all evidence for their appeal filed against suspended Director of the National Prosecution Office (N.P.O.), Mauga Precious Chang.

The decision delivered yesterday followed a request by New Zealand-based independent prosecutor for the A.G’s Office, Satiu Simativa Perese.

Last year, District Court Judge, Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma, found Mauga not guilty of three traffic-related charges. The charges include negligent driving causing bodily injuries, an alternative charge of dangerous driving and failure to stop to ascertain whether anyone was injured at the scene.

But the Attorney General’s Office has decided to pursue the matter through an appeal. 

Yesterday, Chief Justice Patu gave them two weeks to come up with a transcript of evidence so he can set a date for written submissions to be submitted.

The matter has been adjourned until Monday 13 February 2017. 

Outside Court, Satiu said they needed to prepare a transcript of all the evidence, Court records and exhibits to present before the Court.

“All of the evidence needs to come before the hub of the Supreme Court. So that’s what we are preparing at the moment. Once it’s done, a date of the hearing will be set,” said Satiu.

“What they’ve asked from us are copies of our submissions. And I’ve already started writing my submissions.”

The appeal was lodged by the A.G’s office through Satiu against the decision by the District Court to find suspended Director of the N.P.O, not. 

Earlier this month, the matter was taken off the Court list following the non-appearance of both counsels involved in the matter.

Satiu is representing the A.G.’s office and former Attorney General, Aumua Ming Leung Wai is representing Mauga.

The Chief Justice at the time said the absence of both lawyers for the matter was disrespectful.  

“The no appearance by any of the counsels in the matter means this is taken off the list. This is rather disrespectful to the Court to file an appeal and then the counsel filing the appeal does not appear.”

Satiu later denied that he was disrespectful saying he was not aware about the matter being called.

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