Man pleads guilty to attempted murder

A man from Aele, who is facing a charge of attempted murder, has changed his plea to guilty.

Oge Kigi changed his plea during a hearing before Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson.

The Prosecutor was lawyer, Fuifui Ioane, of the Attorney General’s Office while defense lawyer was Sale’imoa Charlie Vaai.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on 3 April 2018.

The incident occurred in June 2016. The defendant and the victim were drinking at the defendant’s house at Aele. Both of them became drunk and the victim told the defendant something that angered him.

According to the Police reports, the victim told the defendant that he was the father of the defendant’s sister’s baby.

This angered the defendant and resulted in him hitting the victim with a machete three times. The defendant struck the victim two times with the machete on the head and the other strike went across his legs.

The impact of the hit on the head caused a crack on the victim’s skull. Inside the Court room on Tuesday, Sale'imoa told the Court that his client has changed his plea from not guilty to guilty.

But Justice Vui asked Sale'imoa to tell the Court why his client should not be remanded in Court after pleading guilty to the charge.

“The law states if the defendant pleads guilty, the Court may not grant bail unless it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that it would be in the interests of justice to do so."

“The onus is on the defendant to show the Court on why bail should be granted,” said Justice Vui.

Sale'imoa then responded asking that his client be given two weeks to reconcile with the victim and his family.

“He has also pleaded guilty and that is a sign of his remorse.”

But Justice Vui was not satisfied with the defense counsels response.

“It seems a little too late with that,” he said.

“If he was remorseful, he would’ve pleaded guilty to the charge the first time he appeared in Court, but he has just changed his plea during the hearing."

“Give me another reason Mr. Vaai.”

Sale'imoa told the Court that prosecution had revealed the medical report, hence the victim’s change of plea.

He also asked the Court to allow his client to spend two weeks with his family and parents. 

Justice Vui granted bail for the defendant, but told him to continue with his bail conditions until 3 April, 2018.

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