Rugby fun turns ugly after Blues historical visit
A 24-year-old man from Sa’anapu has been found guilty of attempted murder.
The incident occurred after the defendant returned from the historical first Super rugby match to be played in Samoa this year between the Blues and the Reds.
The verdict in the hearing of Suli Suali’i was delivered by a panel of assessors after a two-day trial.
Suali’i was charged with actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm and attempted murder.
He is expected to be sentenced on 22 February 2018.
Presiding was Supreme Court Justice, Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren.
Prosecution was Fatumanavaupolu Ofisa Tagaloa of the Attorney General’s Office while defense counsel was Afamasaga Michael So’onalole.
The victim, Uale Key, who took the stand on the first day of trial, told the Court that he sustained four stab wounds on his side and his back.
The incident occurred on 2 June 2017 at the Fugalei market.
“On the night in question, my friend Eti and I went to watch the Blues versus Reds game at Apia Park,” he said.
“The game finished around 9:30pm, we were both drunk, but I remember we came to Fugalei around 10pm.
“I went inside the market while my friend Eti was waiting at the car park and upon my return Eti told me what the defendant did to him.
“I got angry and then I saw Suli was trying to get to where Eti was and that’s when I walked up to him and punched him.
“We had a fist fight and then we both fell on the ground and while I was lying on the ground I felt pain on the top left side of my shoulder and that’s when I blacked out.”
Fatumanavaupolu asked the victim if he knew how many stab wounds he had.
“When I woke up I was in the hospital, the doctor told me I was stabbed by a knife four times,” said Mr. Key.
“I spent two weeks and four days inside the hospital.”
During cross examination, Afamasaga asked the victim how he got hold of the knife.
“I was using the knife for my kula giu,” he said.
“I threw it up and down and then one of the guys at the market took it off me.”
Afamasaga put it to the victim that he walked out of the market with the knife.
“You started the fight because you walked up to Sualii and threw the first punch,” said Afamasaga.
“You got the knife and you walked out with it and when you were approaching the defendant you had the knife with you.
“So it’s true if I say that you were the one who started the fight.”
The victim responded that he had the knife and that he was the one who punched the victim first.
He also told the court that he did not intend to use the knife on anyone.