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Man who killed neighbour jailed for life

A 56-year-old man, who shot and killed his neighbour during drunken game of Russian Roulette, has been jailed for life by the Supreme Court.

The defendant, Saleufi Faauuga was sentenced by Supreme Court Justice, Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma, on Wednesday.

Fa'au'uga shot and killed the 34-year-old victim on the night of 18 June 2016 at Faleula. The defendant was drinking alcohol with a few other men on his property on the night in question. 

The Court heard that one of his cousins left the drinking party and returned with a gun. They played a game of Russian roulette. 

Fa'au'uga was in possession of the gun when the victim approached the drinking party.

Angry that his neighbour trespassed onto his property, the defendant instructed the victim to get on his knees and the victim obliged.

Fa'au'uga placed the gun in the victim’s mouth and fired the weapon, killing his neighbour instantly.

The defendant was charged with one of count of murder. Four years after the killing, Fa'au'uga pleaded guilty to the charge on 30 June 2020.

Prosecutor Fuifui Ioane, of the Attorney General's Office, recommended a 17-year sentence before the defendant becomes eligible for parole. But Justice Fepulea’i noted that under the Sentencing Act of 2016, which was enacted in November 2016, the maximum number of years before he is eligible for parole is 10.

He withdrew prosecution’s application for the 17 years’ starting point. Justice Fepulea’i said Faauuga must be imprisoned for life.

He convicted the defendant on the murder charge and sentenced him to serve life in prison.

The defence lawyer is Leota Tima Leavai. A handcuffed Faauuga was remanded back in custody after sentencing.

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