Suspended official allowed to travel

Suspended Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Land Transport Authority, Mata’afa Sepelini, has been given approval by the Supreme Court to travel to New Zealand.

His Honour, Chief Justice Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu, granted the application by lawyer Diana Roma who made the submission to the Court on behalf of her client. 

Leone Su’a-Mailo of the Attorney General’s Office, who is acting for the prosecution, did not oppose the application. 

The Chief Justice, when granting the application, told the defendant that there are conditions that he had to adhere to. 

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“By consent the accused is granted leave to leave the jurisdiction for New Zealand on the 13th of October and return to Samoa on the 21st of October on the following conditions. 

“Firstly, you are to provide the sum of $5,000 each to the satisfaction of the register. 

“Secondly, upon your return your passport or any other travel document is to be surrendered to the register and thirdly your bail conditions are to continue when you return.”

Mata’afa has been charged with alleged forgery and intent to obtain by deception.

According to the police warrant, he allegedly produced a “false document” by altering the year of make of a vehicle (with the registration number T454) from 2000 to 2005, knowing it to be false, but with the intent to make it appear genuine. The offence allegedly occurred on February 19, 2018. 

The matter returns to Court on November 19.

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