Pauga pleads not guilty

A man accused of making a false declaration on a passenger arrival card when he entered the country in January has entered a not guilty plea to the charge against him.

Talalelei Pauga, 41, of Australia and Manono, appeared before District Court Judge, Leota Raymond Schuster, for mention.

He was represented by lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu. Iliganoa Atoa was the prosecutor. 

Ms. Atoa asked that Pauga should surrender his travel documents. 

In filing an application to remand her client on bail, Unasa told the Court the alleged offence is a “minor offence” and he should not have to surrender his passport. 

“Your Honour I respectfully seek that he (Pauga) will turn up for his trial and he is based on island of Manono and has no previous conviction in this country,” she argued in Court. 

“I seek that he be on bail, that his passport not be surrendered and we will seek variation on his bail and file an application for variation of bail to allow him to leave jurisdiction so that the rigmarole of him going through and to surrender and all that…we will file the application before the end of today.” 

But Judge Leota said the defendant needs to surrender his passport yesterday before he leaves the Court room. 

He adjourned the matter to May 17 for hearing of the application for the variation of Pauga’s bail condition.  

Pauga is the man who threw a pig's head at Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi in Brisbane last year.

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