Suspended Director found not guilty

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong 13 December 2016, 12:00AM

The suspended Director of the National Prosecution Office (N.P.O), Mauga Precious Chang, is a relieved individual.

It follows the decision by District Court Judge, Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma, to find her not guilty of traffic-related charges.

The decision was delivered yesterday to a Courtroom full of her supporters – including a colleague and suspended Assistant N.P.O Director, Muriel Lui.

Outside Court, asked how she felt now that the charges have been dismissed, Mauga only expressed her gratitude to everyone who supported her. 

She did not wish to say anything more.

Mauga had pleaded not guilty to negligent driving causing bodily injuries, an alternative charge of dangerous driving and failure to stop to ascertain whether anyone was injured at the scene. 

In his brief decision, Judge Fepuleai said after considering the evidence carefully, he had reached the decision that the prosecution failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt. 

He will make his reasons available to the parties on Wednesday. 

New Zealand-based lawyer, Satiu Mativa Perese was the prosecutor.  Queen’s Counsel, Aaron Perkins and former Attorney General, Aumua Ming Leung Wai represented Mauga. Aumua informed the Court yesterday that Mr. Perkins was not available. Asked for a comment outside Court, Satiu said he needs time to consider if he would appeal.  “The decision has been made and I just have to wait for the reasons,” he said. 

 “We have rules to obey and it’s improper for me to say at this point. It’s not for me to say whether to agree or not (with the decision). My job is to put up the prosecution’s case and I did. The Judge says it did not reach threshold that he thought it should.”

The charges against Mauga was the result of a traffic incident involving three cars on Beach Road, Apia, in front of TuiAtuaTupuaTamaseseEfi building.

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong 13 December 2016, 12:00AM

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