Two plead not guilty to Faleatiu raid

Two of the eleven suspects separately charged in connection to the country's biggest ever drug raid at Faleatiu two months ago have pleaded not guilty to charges against them. 

Iakopo Iakopo and Fauea Faavae are being jointly charged for possession of 17 marijuana cigarettes and possession of 166 marijuana seeds. 

Lawyer Leulua’iali’i Tasi Malifa entered not guilty plea to two charges of possession of narcotics against the men in the Supreme Court. 

The lawyer alleged that the men, who both reside in Afega, were working at a Faleatiu plantation when they were arrested on the day of the raid. 

“I’m instructed that they were working there to weed the taro plantation when police raid came through,” said Leulua’iali’i. 

“Apparently they were nowhere near the marijuana seeds and narcotics. They were just at the plantation…” 

The lawyer also argued that two other accused are on bail and his clients - one of whom has no previous conviction - has been denied bail. 

Iakopo has a previous conviction while Faavae does not, the Court heard. 

Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke adjourned the matter to next week for Leulua’iali’I to file an official bail application. 

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