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Man in P.M. plot applies to leave

A man accused of plotting to kill the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, appeared in court this week seeking permission to leave the country.

The defendant, Lemai Faioso Sione, through his attorney, has made an application to leave the jurisdiction (Samoa) while his criminal matter is pending in the Supreme Court.

He appeared before Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Daryl M. Clarke on Tuesday to have the court schedule a hearing date for his application to leave Samoa.

Defence attorney Unasa Iuni Sapolu is representing Sione.

Justice Leiataualesa clarified whether her client had sought to leave Samoa before. 

“So this is the second application to leave the jurisdiction?,” he asked.

“No. It is the first application to leave jurisdiction,” Unasa answered.

Justice Leiataualesa initially sought to set the hearing for July but Unasa asked for an earlier court date.

The Judge asked if there is any “urgency” regarding the application, to which Unasa responded yes. 

Justice Leiataualesa has scheduled the application hearing for Friday, 26 June at 12:30 p.m.

Acting Chief Justice Vui Clarence Nelson will hear the application. 

Sione is accused of plotting to kill Tuilaepa. 

He was released from jail in early May after being granted bail by Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala Warren.

It is alleged Sione and his co-defendant Malele Paulo were engaged in the plot. They have pleaded not guilty. 

Their trial is set for November. 

A third man, Taualai Leiloa. pleaded guilty to charges in February.

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