Prisoner rejects charges
The trial of a prisoner who allegedly broke into a hotel room with scissors and raped a tourist while her partner was forced to watch on helplessly is scheduled to start today.
Notorious prisoner escapee, Lauititi Tualima, is to appear before Samoa Supreme Court Justice, Lesatele Rapi Vaai.
The matter was scheduled for hearing yesterday.
Due to the seriousness of the charges against Tualima, Justice Lesatele adjourned the matter for today to allow the defendant to engage a lawyer. Tualima faces charges of rape, indecent assault, burglary, theft and being armed with a dangerous weapon.
In court yesterday, Tualima denied the charges. He insisted that he defend himself during the proceedings. But Justice Lesatele would not allow it. Tualima was also told that the charges against him are very serious and he needs a legal counsel.
According to the Prosecutor Leone Su’a, there are nine charges against the accused.
However, they are only proceeding with seven charges as the other charges have been withdrawn.
The charges stem from incident where Australian Angie Jackson was with her partner, Tommy Williams, at the Lupe Sina Tree Resort when they were startled by the intruder about 2am on September 23 last year.
It is alleged that Tualima tied up the pair before he proceeded to rape Ms. Jackson.
Ms Jackson said they were forced to beg for their lives before the man fled with their belongings.
The couple, from Hobart, had just woken up to catch a 3am taxi to the airport to fly to Sydney when the alleged attack happened, and it’s believed one of the hotel staff disturbed the man when he came to check if they still required the taxi.
According to Justice Lesatele, the alleged victim cannot travel to Samoa but will be giving evidence from Australia online.