A.C.E.O. on assault charge granted request to leave Samoa

A senior Government official has been granted permission to leave the country before he faces court on an assault charge.  

Suspended Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.) Assistant Chief Executive Officer (A.C.E.O.), Lupeomanu Pelenato Fonoti is due before the District Court next month

His charge stemmed from an alleged assault on businessman and former C.E.O. of the National Provident Fund, Papali’i Panoa Tavita.  

Represented by lawyer Arthur Lesa, Lupeomanu has pleaded not guilty to the charge. 

The suspended A.C.E.O.'s application to leave Samoa was not opposed by prosecution in the District Court. 

Prosecutors sought two forms of surety of $1,000 tala each in order to guarantee the defendant to return to Samoa before his hearing on 28 November 2019. 

Judge Leota Raymond Schuster granted the application and ordered Lupeomanu to pay surety of $500 tala each. 

The alleged incident occurred during the M.A.F. Pesticide Technical Committee meeting Chaired by C.E.O. Tilafono David Hunter at Matautu in October this year. 

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