Court President leave with pay
The President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepulea'i Attila Ropati’s “special leave” has its perks.
It includes the Court’s vehicle assigned to him and his pay.
This was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.), Papali’i John Taimalelagi.
Fepulea'i took leave of absence following criminal charges filed against him in connection with an assault incident at the Judiciary compound last year.
Last month, he pleaded guilty to a charge of assault against him through his lawyer, Aumua Ming Leung Wai.
But Fepulea'i pleaded not guilty to the charges of grievous bodily harm, being armed with a dangerous weapon and causing injury.
In early March, the M.J.C.A. sought legal advice from the Attorney General “about the leave entitlements of the President” of the Land and Titles Court.
The request followed the decision by Fepulea'i Attila Ropati to take special leave pending criminal charges filed against him in Court.
The request for clarity from the Attorney General is made in a letter from Papali’i addressed to the Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff.
Dated 5 March 2018, a copy of the letter had been leaked to the Samoa Observer.
“On March 2018, I was informed verbally by His Honor Chief Justice Sapolu, that the decision of the Judicial Service Commission is that the President take his leave effective 2 March 2018 until his criminal charges have been determined by the Court.
“I am therefore writing to seek your legal advice about the leave entitlements of the President.”
Meanwhile in the absence of Fepulea’i, the Chief Justice has taken over the role of the President of Land and Titles.