Police officer pleads not guilty to murder

A Police officer has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Constable Lefiu Aina Fono entered a not guilty plea to three charges against him, including one of murder, over the death of a man from the village of Faleasi'u.

Fono entered the the plea through his lawyer, Su’a Hellene Wallwork-Lamb.

He is now jointly charged with Maualalo Senetenari for the murder of the same Faleasi'u man. 

It is alleged that the men had thrown stones during an altercation at Faleasi'u on 9 March 2019. 

The deceased was afflicted by head injuries from the dispute and was taken to the national hospital at Moto’otua. 

He later died as a result of the head injuries.

The charge against the Police officer comes five months after Senetenari was charged. 

The co-defendant had also pleaded not guilty to the murder charge; his hearing is pending. 

Presided over by Justice Lei'ataualesa Daryl Clarke, the defendant's lawyer said she has not been served with trial documents. 

Su’a was appointed the counsel for Lefiu last week under the legal aid programme.

Justice Lei'ataualesa adjourned the matter until 30 March for hearing. 

Lefiu is remanded on bail pending his trial. 

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