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No appeal filed against La’auli's court decision

The Attorney General’s Office has not filed an appeal to date against a Supreme Court decision last month that cleared former Cabinet Minister, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt.

This was confirmed by the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration [M.J.C.A.] Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Ve’atauia Faatasi Puleiata, in a telephone interview with the Samoa Observer.

He said the Attorney General’s Office has not filed an appeal within the mandated 21 days to file a motion to appeal the case, and as of Thursday the M.J.C.A. has not received an appeal.

Attempts to get a comment from Acting Attorney General, Galumalemana Loretta Teueli have been unsuccessful. 

But a senior staff in the M.J.C.A., who is not authorised to speak to the media, said the Attorney General’s Office only filed for extension of time to file an appeal. 

“Nothing has been filed since then and the appeal would be out of time if there is any filed any time later,” said the staff member. 

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also the responsible Minister of the Attorney General’s Office, was unaware of reports of no appeal being made by the Attorney General’s Office.

Tuilaepa said the criminal case against La’auli had nothing to do with him. 

The decision to acquit former Member of Parliament for Gagaifomauga no3, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt of more than 100 charges with three other co-defendants was handed down on 26 June by the Supreme Court.

Justice Vui Clarence Nelson delivered the decision where all charges against La’auli, his wife and two other co-defendants were dismissed. 

Except for businessman and owner of Talamua media, Apulu Lance Polu, who was found guilty of using a forged document. 

His sentencing is pending in the Supreme Court.

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