N.Z. seeks extradition of Samoan man

The Government of New Zealand is seeking the extradition of a Samoan man who is facing more than 30 sex crime charges in that country. 

Tulisi Leiataua, of Vaitele and Manono, is currently in custody after the District Court ordered the committal of the accused to custody to await prospective extradition to New Zealand. 

Judge Talasa Atoa–Saaga granted the application for a warrant of arrest pursuant to the Extradition Act 1974 sought by New Zealand Crown Law Office on behalf of the Government of New Zealand. 

Mr. Leiataua is alleged to have committed an extradition offence defined under the Act which has the maximum penalty of death imprisonment. 

He has been charged in New Zealand with 32 charges; nine of sexual violation by rape, three counts of indecent acts on a young person, one count of indecent assault, one count of assault on a child, 12 counts of sexual violation and six counts of an indecent act on a child. 

The request made on behalf of the New Zealand Government was accompanied by a warrant of arrest for Mr. Leiataua, particulars of the charges and evidence. 

“I am satisfied after hearing the evidence that the offences for which the defendant has been charged of are extradition offences of which the maximum penalties are not less than 12 months for each offence,” said Judge Saaga in her decision handed down two weeks ago. 

“Further, there is compelling evidence before the Court to warrant a trial before the Supreme Court of Samoa if the offences were committed within the jurisdiction of the Courts of Samoa.”

In her conclusion, the Judge said there is sufficient evidence to warrant the respondent’s trial if he had been committed within the jurisdiction of the Courts in Samoa. 

“I hereby order the committal of the respondent to custody to await the extradition of the respondent to New Zealand,” she said. 

“The defendant shall not be extradited until after the expiration of 15 days commencing from the date of the order for his committal.” 

The 15 days expiration is due on 16 March.  

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