Trio plead guilty to arson
Three youths from Satui, Mulifanua, have been charged and have pleaded guilty to arson.
Farani Tila, Mathew Tila and Tila Tomasi were jointly charged in relation to an incident in the village on 5 June 2016. .
Earlier this week, they appeared before Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu in the Supreme Court.
They pleaded for mercy, requesting if they could be granted bail until sentencing.
“I want to be with my family,” Tila said. “I am guilty of what we did and I’ve learnt that it was wrong.
“I plea for your mercy, I don’t want to go back to that place, it is not a good place. I ask for your mercy as I want to be with my family.”
A chief of the village Leuluaitofu told the Court that the village has already forgiven the defendants.
“We have already accepted the apologies from these boys’ parents,” he said. “They apologized on their behalf to the village council and we have accepted it.”
The defendants pleaded guilty to the burning of the village’s security fale. It was one of two houses they burnt.
Lawyer Leone Su’a-Mailo of the National Prosecution Office did not oppose bail.
But Chief Justice Patu declined their request.
“What you guys did was against the village protocols and what was done was very serious,” said the Chief Justice.
“I will remand you in custody until you understand that what you did in the village was disrespectful.”
The three defendants will be sentenced on 8 August 2016.