Conviction against former Deputy P.M. quashed

The conviction against former Deputy Prime Minister, Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, has been quashed.

The decision was handed down by Supreme Court Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa this week. 

Fonotoe, who is a Member of Parliament, was represented by lawyer, Leafa Donald Kerslake. 

The decision from Justice Tuatagaloa brings the longstanding matter involving the veteran Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) politician to an end. 

 “The appeal against sentence is upheld,” the ruling says. 

“The sentence imposed is quashed and the appellant is discharged without conviction.”

The full decision with reasons will be made avaible on Friday 15 December, 2017.

In 2014, District Court Judge, Vaepule Vaemoa Va'ai, convicted Fonotoe on a charge of inciting or encouraging the obstruction of a Police officer from executing his/her duty. 

Fonotoe immediately appealed the decision, arguing that there were errors in the facts of law and inconsistencies in the evidence presented.

The charges and conviction stemmed from an incident on Beach road on the night of Friday 4 October, 2013, where Fonotoe was alleged to have obstructed Police work.  

Efforts to get comments from Fonotoe or his lawyer were unsuccessful.

The Samoa Observer was told Fonotoe is out of the country.

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