Senior Govt. official pleads not guilty to assault
The Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.), Lupeomanu Pelenato Fonoti, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault.
The charge is in connection to an alleged altercation with farmer and former General Manager of the Samoa National Provident Fund (S.N.P.F.), Papali'i Panoa Tavita, at a meeting at the Quarantine Office at Matautu in August.
The matter was heard before District Court Judge Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma on Tuesday.
Lupeomanu was represented by lawyer, Afa Lesa, while Silupevaelei Rexona Titi represented the Attorney General’s office.
The defendant’s plea of not guilty was entered through his lawyer, Lesa.
A hearing is now scheduled for 28th November 2019.
Lupeomanu has been placed on suspension by the Public Service Commission, pending the Court proceedings.
The Acting Assistant C.E.O. for Quarantine is Talei Fidow Moors.
The altercation is alleged to have occurred during the Pesticide Technical Committee Meeting.