Attorney General to appeal Fepulea’i case

The Attorney General’s Office will appeal the Supreme Court’s decision to return the case of suspended Land and Titles Court President, Fepulea’i Atilla Ropati, back to the District Court.

Last month the Supreme Court upheld an appeal by the Police and quashed the District Court’s discharge without conviction ruling, and remitted the matter back to the District Court for a re-trial. Presiding Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke directed that section 17 of the Sentencing Act 2016 is applied.

Assistant Attorney General, Rexona Titi, appeared before District Court Judge Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i on Friday and advised the Court that they are appealing the decision of the Supreme Court.

But counsel Aumua Ming Leung Wai, who is representing Fepulea’i, then told the Court that they are filing a cross appeal on the move by the Attorney General’s Office. 

Judge Alalatoa, in response to the submissions by the lawyers on Friday, referred the matter back to the Supreme Court for mention.  

The matter before the Court relates to an incident on the night of December 15, 2017 where Fepulea’i, the respondent in yesterday’s appeal, struck a 55-year-old male at the party twice with a bottle and threw a punch at him—leading to the male sustaining injuries in the attack. 

The respondent was then charged by the Police and went before the District Court in July this year, where he pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm. Following a full trial, the District Court discharged him without conviction. The Police then appealed the ruling in the Supreme Court, which subsequently led to the quashing of the District Court ruling last month and its remitting back to the Court for a retrial.

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