"His plan was to kill her," lawyer tells Court

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 05 July 2019, 8:15PM

The Assistant Attorney General, Magele Leone Su’a, is seeking a term of 30 years imprisonment for commercial farmer, Peter Tulaga, for the "savagery attack" on Frysna Rimoni.

Tulaga was found guilty of the attempted murder of Ms. Rimoni by a panel of assessors in May.

In her submission before the Supreme Court on Friday, Magele revealed that Tulaga's plan was to kill Ms. Rimoni. She said the offence was premeditated.

In making reference to Ms. Rimoni’s testimony that was closed to the media, the lawyer said it was clear from her evidence that Tulaga indicated he had “something planned”. 

“His plan was to kill and destroy her, ruined her and her family,” argued Magele. 

“It was a savagery attack. He shot her point blank and it was clear from the evidence that it was premeditated and he intended to kill her and ruined her to the extent that she is blind, has no sense of smell as supported by the doctor’s evidence.” 

Furthermore, Magele said the offending has affected Ms. Rimoni's life, whom in her own words, was saved by the grace of God. 

“She said she was meant to die but it was the grace of God that she survived in order for justice to prevail,” said the prosecutor in referring to the evidence of Ms. Rimoni.  

“The offending has not only affected her, it has affected her family. 

“I reiterate that it has impacted her to the extent that she is permanently disabled, has lost quality time with her family, lost her career and is facing hardship through prolonged medical treatment. 

“It has affected her psychologically where she is blind and has lost the opportunity to complete her overseas study.”

The Court heard that Ms. Rimoni was granted a scholarship from the AusAid and was studying at the time the incident occurred. 

Since she was evacuated to New Zealand for treatment, Ms. Rimoni’s mother has been caring for her. 

Ms. Rimoni, who was the Financial Manager at the Pacific Forum Line, was dependent on by her elderly parents. 

According to Magele, the incident has affected Ms. Rimoni’s family where her mother is now caring for her while her father resides by himself in Samoa. 

“The Victim Impact Report from the parents says that they are suffering,” she said. 

“The defendant said he will destroy her (Ms. Rimoni) and her family and he has achieved that. 

“Not only has he destroyed the victim the family is also suffering from this.”

Magele said it was clear from Tulaga’s evidence that he blamed Ms. Rimoni for what had transpired and an indication that he is not remorseful. 

Defense lawyer, Tauiliili Harry Schuster also put forward mitigating factors in favour of Tulaga. 

Tauiliili pointed out that Tulaga is a commercial farmer and a family man. 

He has a family in New Zealand and had returned to Samoa to develop a taro plantation to assist his elderly mother and family.

In addition, Tauiliili said Tulaga has no history of violence and the incident was the first for him. 

Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala–Warren then adjourned the matter on Thursday 11 July for sentencing. 

She also ordered probation to provide a report before the date. 

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 05 July 2019, 8:15PM

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