Tupou’s discharging to be appealed

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Samoa 7s captain Alatasi Tupou.

Samoa 7s captain Alatasi Tupou. (Photo: James Atoa/Samoa Observer)

The Office of the Attorney General will appeal the decision by the District Court to discharge Manu Samoa Sevens captain, Alatasi Tupou, without conviction.

The rugby player was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving without a valid license, which he pleaded guilty to when he appeared before the Court in June.

Appearing before His Honour, Chief Justice Patu Tiava'asu’e Falefatu Sapolu, lawyer Fuifui Ioane representing the Office of the Attorney General told the Court that they will be appealing the decision. 

Chief Justice Patu then asked the lawyer if she had the appeal record or was ready to proceed with the appeal. 

“Do you have any application counsel for the Attorney General or are you ready to proceed with the appeal? I don’t see any appeal record and the file contents only has a note of appeal but there is no appeal record,” he said.

Tuatagaloa Shane Wulf, who appeared on behalf of Tupou’s lawyer Donald Keslake, told the Court that they were yet to be served the appeal documents.  

“I appear on behalf of Donald Kerslake as he is currently overseas. I do confirm that we haven’t been served with any application of an appeal and so we would like to make an application for the prosecution to file and serve the documents to our office,” he said.

Chief Justice Patu granted the application by prosecution and adjourned the matter to August 14.

“This matter is adjourned to Tuesday 14th of August for the prosecution to serve the notice of appeal on the respondent and to file and serve the appeal record,” he said. 

During the district court proceedings Donald argued that a conviction would harm his client’s international rugby career, and added that Tupou had already faced intense public scrutiny in the wake of the charges. 

District Court Judge Alalatoa Rosella Papalii, who presided over the matter, accepted the argument but still ordered court costs against the rugby player. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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