Tualima pleads guilty, attempted murder charge withdrawn
A notorious prisoner and convicted rapist who was initially charged for the attempted murder of a Chinese businessman in 2016 has entered a guilty plea to a lesser offence.
The prosecution had withdrawn a charge of attempted murder against prisoner Lauititi Tualima on Tuesday in the Supreme Court.
Instead, the prosecutor and Attorney General’s Office lawyer, Fuifui Ioane is proceeding with a grievous bodily harm, breaking in and theft charges against the prisoner.
Tualima has vacated his not guilty plea to guilty to the amended charges.
The prisoner is currently serving 18 years for raping a tourist from Australia who was on her honeymoon in the country in 2015.
The latest offence stems from a break-in at businessman Kuan Hui San’s residence at Vaitele in 2016 with co-defendant Filipo Pesamino.
Co-defendant Pesamino, who was not present in Court, had entered a guilty plea to burglary, theft and assault. He denied causing grievous bodily harm to the alleged victim.
Tualima had escaped prison at the time he seriously injured the Chinese national.
Lawyer Leiataualesa Komisi Koria represented the defendants in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Justice Vui Clarence Nelson then ordered a warrant of arrest for Pesamino who failed to appear in Court and adjourned the matter to 22 November 2020 for the sentencing of the defendants.