L.T.A Manager pays $20,000 to leave Samoa

A former Manager of the Land Transport Authority has been asked to pay surety totaling $20,000 as a condition allowing her to leave the country to take up employment in New Zealand. 

Pepe Anoanoai Lafai was granted her application to leave the jurisdiction this week after the Supreme Court set down a new hearing date for a new trial. 

Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke noted Ms. Lafai had to return to the country before November 2 2020 for her hearing. 

She was represented by lawyer Fepuleai Patrick Fepuleai. 

Assistant Attorney General Magele Leone Su’a asked that the accused surrender her travel documents and sign in with Police once she returns to Samoa for her trial in November. 

Magele asked that the Court note for the record the bail conditions for Ms. Lafai to become effective once she returns to the country. 

In 2018 the accused, together with a co-worker, were charged with various offences of alleged dishonesty arising from her alleged misuse of the L.T.A.’s computer records. 

In March 2019, the Supreme Court found the charges against the accused to have not been proven beyond reasonable doubt and accordingly, the charges were dismissed.

The prosecution appealed the verdict of the Supreme Court and on the 19th September 2019, the Court of Appeal upheld the prosecution appeal, set aside the verdict and remitted the matter back for a new trial.

The accused attended her Court of Appeal hearing but later left the country for New Zealand to find employment.

For the first re-mention of her matter in the Supreme Court on October 28 last year, she applied through counsel for her attendance at mention to be excused.

But the prosecution opposed the application asking the Court to issue a warrant of arrest for the accused if she does not voluntarily return to the jurisdiction for the proper proceedings. 

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