Cop accused of accepting bribery appears in Court

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 27 August 2019, 8:00PM

A Police officer accused of accepting a $50 tala bribe, and the Vietnamese man who allegedly offered it to him, appeared before the District Court on Tuesday.

The suspended Police officer, Vaivali Laulu, allegedly accepted a bribe from a Vietnamese national, Tran Van Dung, at the Police headquarters in Malifa. 

A video allegedly shows the money being given and received by the accused.  

The pair initially appeared before the Supreme Court last week but the hearing was transferred to the District Court. 

District Court Judge, Talasa Atoa Saaga presided.

Lawyer, Alex Su’a, represented Dung and appeared on instructions from, Arthur Lesa, for Laulu.

Prosecutor Silupevaelei Rexona Titi sought a week adjournment to allow time to view the video from Police. 

Mr. Su’a told the Court it was anticipated that the prosecution was to finalise charges when the matter was called on Tuesday.

He urged if the Court record could note the decision as the final adjournment. 

Judge Saaga granted the adjournment to 3 September for Police to finalise their charges. 

“I also note there is a video that has come to the possession of police they have to view,” she added. 

Dung allegedly bribed Laulu when he was going to see his cousin, An Tran Thi, who was detained at the main Police headquarter. 

Thi is facing five charges for alleged importation of hard drugs in the form of pills.

She pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of narcotics namely heroin and racemethorphan, two counts of bribery of law enforcement officers and one count of importation of narcotics. 

The street value of the alleged illicit drugs is estimated to be $400,000 

Her hearing has been scheduled on 17 February 2020. 

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 27 August 2019, 8:00PM

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