Witness recalls alleged assault over land row
A businessman assaulted and hurled obscene language towards two high chiefs during an alleged assault in broad daylight.
That’s what the District Court was told yesterday when the hearing of charges against a Construction Company owner, Ututa’aloga Charlie Ulia, started.
Ututa’aloga faces two charges of assault and one of using insulting words in relation to a dispute over land at the village of Afega.
The dispute apparently came to a head in June last year when Fata Pemane Seuseu and Seuseu Pito Faalogo visited the land in question.
Ututa’aloga, who is represented by lawyer, Te’o Richard Faaiuaso, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Sergeant Khantam Stanley is the Prosecutor.
The matter is presided by Judge Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma.
The Court was told yesterday there are five prosecution witnesses while the defense will call three witnesses.
Eseta Fa’alogo, the wife of Seuseu Pito Faalogo, gave evidence yesterday. Mrs. Faalogo, and Tiliola Fata, the wife of Fata Pemane Seuseu, were present when the incident happened.
“I remember that on the 28th of June, 2016 my husband wanted to go and see the land being disputed,” she said.
“We went with Fata Pemane Seuseu and his wife Tilialo and my husband Seuseu and I.
“When we got to there, my husband Seuseu Pita Faalogo and Fata Pemane got out of the car and they started walking towards the other side of the road where the land is.”
It was at that point when Ututa’aloga arrived.
“While they were talking a vehicle coming from inland stopped suddenly. I saw a man jumping out of that car and that’s when I saw clearly it was Ututa’aloga.
“I heard him calling out to my husband and Fata Pemane Seuseu to get away from the land. I also heard Fata Pemane Seuseu telling him that they are standing on the government road.”
The Court heard that Ututaaloga told Seuseu and Fata Pemane that the land belongs to Afega.
“At that time Tiliola and Fata Falevalu were already at the scene. I could hear Ututa’aloga swearing at my husband and Fata Pemane Seuseu.”
Mrs. Fa’alogo said when she arrived at the scene; she saw her husband’s face covered in blood.
“While I was taking photos Ututaaloga and one other person who was with him called out to me not to take any pictures,” she recalled.
“By the time Maulolo Tavita arrived at the scene we were walking towards our car and then we left.”
Tiliola echoed Ms. Faalogo’s testimony.
“When Ututa’aloga got out of his car he went straight up to my husband Fata Pemane Seuseu and started punching him,” she said.
“I ran to where he was at and I was calling out to him to please stop.
“My husband fell on the ground and I saw Ututa’aloga punching him on the head while the other guy that was with him kicking my husband.”
During cross-examination, lawyer Te’o asked Mrs. Seuseu what they were doing on the land in the first place when they knew very well the land was the subject of a dispute and a Court hearing.
“Well, Seuseu Pito Faalogo is the sa’o of our aiga,” she said. “He wanted to know more about the land.”
Te’o denied that the man who was with Ututa’aloga had assaulted Fata Pemane. He said he was trying to stop the fight.
But Mrs. Tiliola disputed this. She said she clearly saw the other person kicking her husband. The hearing continues.