Sa’u had political aspirations, long-term plans, trial told

The former Chief Executive Officer of the Unit Trust of Samoa (U.T.O.S.), Sa’u Justina Fa’asamoa, had future plans including to become a Member of Parliament, her husband's murder trial was told yesterday.

Those plans never materialised, when Sa’u passed away at the age of 43. 

This was the evidence of Sa’u’s close friend and her Maid of Honour during her wedding in 2016, Tofilau Fiti Leung Wa,i who is also a prominent businesswoman. 

The witness is one of the last for the prosecution in the trial where Kolani Junior Lam is charged for the murder of his wife Sa’u. 

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

In her evidence on Monday, Tofilau said she does not believe that Sa’u took her life because she was a very positive person and had many future plans.

Some of those plans included becoming a parliamentarian, going back to Apolima to help her mother with the family business, visiting Fiji with her circle of friends this year and to go to Disneyland in Hong Kong with Tofilau and her family. 

“She was a successful person, full of life and living in her prime,” Tofilau told the Court. 

“She loves her kids and family. She would take her kids with her everywhere she goes and that is why I do not believe that she took her own life. 

“As a mother I know she would never do that to her kids and I know that for a fact. There is not an ounce of me that believes that she had taken her life.” 

In tears, Tofilau said she was supposed to meet with Sa’u on Saturday, the day before she passed away on Sunday. 

But because she got caught up with her she did not see her but had made plans to meet the weeks after. 

“Had I known it would be her last day I would have dropped everything and spent the whole day with her,” said the witness. 

“I cried for days (when Sa’u died). I never lost a close friend before.”

Tofilau spoke highly of her dear friend Sa’u that shares a lot of common interest with her. 

The Prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General, Magele Leone Su’a, questioned Tofilau why she said that she does not believe that Sa’u would have taken her own life. 

In response, Tofilau recalled that on the day before her friend died she had planned to meet with her when she returns from Hawaii. 

The witness said Sa’u would not have done that if she had made plans to meet with her the following weeks and in addition she had many future plans.

“Justina wouldn’t do that because she is an educated woman and had a lot to live for. 

“There was nothing in the messages that would indicate she would take her life.”  

Tofilau recalled that she received two messages from Sa’u’s number on the early hours of Sunday, 21 October 2018. 

The messages stated that Sa’u was gone and had been taken to the hospital. 

In shock, the witness said she dialled the number hoping to hear her friend's voice and that the message was a joke. 

But instead the voice on the other side of the phone confirmed what she had feared. 

“It was like a bad dream,” said Tofilau. 

“I still couldn’t believe it. I was in shocked and it was a different feeling.”

Tofilau said she went to the hospital with her husband as soon as she read the messages just to see her friend. 

“I had so many questions and I had asked myself this is not her time and this is not her doing,” she said. 

“I cried for many days. I had prayed to God to take this sadness away. 

“Out of all of our friends, Justina was the healthiest and had so many plans.” 

Tofilau said she had her doubts about Lam. 

She remembered an incident in which their group of friends had plans to meet up for dinner. 

On the night they had planned to have dinner, Tofilau said she had called Sa’u, reminding her not to forget the dinner.

“She told me that it was lucky I had called otherwise she wouldn’t have come,” she said. 

“She said she had put me on speaker and Kolani had heard me telling Justina that she has to come to dinner. 

“I was thinking: 'Why would he not want her to come to our dinner?',.”

Tofilau recalled another incident when Sa’u had called her to see if she could bring in her new washing machine to get it fixed. 

In her evidence, Tofilau said she had asked her friend what had happened to the machine. Her response was they got into a fight and Sa'u's husband got mad and had broken it. 

Tofilau said she does not know Lam well and they do not speak often. 

She told the Court that Sa’u told her she moved to Sinamoga with Lam because he did not want to live with her at Ululoloa. 

“She said Kolani didn’t want to live in Ululoloa because her first husband John is buried there,” said Tofilau. 

“She then moved to Sinamoga and she bought all the furniture there for Kolani’s house.”

Tofilau said she met Sa’u in 1998 when they worked at Finance together, in different divisions. 

“When we first met we clicked,” she said. 

“We have same interest in things and I like positive people and she one that is always talking about planning in the future, opportunities and development. 

“That is the kind of spirit I like and we share those.”

The hearing continues. 

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