Head of State signs suspension of Lands and Titles Court President

By Joyetter Feagaimaali'i, 15 May 2019

The President of the Lands and Titles Court, Fepulea’i Atilla Ropati, has been suspended by the Judicial Service Commission (J.S.C.). 

A copy of the Warrant of Suspension signed by the Head of State, His Highness Tuimleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, on Friday 10 May 2019 confirmed the decision.

Fepulea’i, who has been on special leave since March 2018, was convicted and fined $7,000 by the Appellate Court two months ago, in connection with causing actual bodily harm with intent on Saili Leota, a security guard of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.).

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"I, Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, Head of State of the Independent of Samoa, acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, in its meeting dated 03 May, 2019 and pursuant to Article 68 (6) of the Constitution of the Independent State of Samoa and section 26D of the Lands and Titles Act 1981, hereby suspend Fepulea’i Atilla Ropati as the President of the Lands and Titles Court of Samoa until the next ensuring session of the Legislative Assembly,” the warrant reads.

The J.S.C. members comprises the Acting Chief Justice Vui Clarence Nelson, Attorney General Lemalu Herman Reztlaff and the Associate Minister of Justice and Courts Administration, So’oalo Mene.

To date attempts by the Samoa Observer to get comments from Fepulea’i have been unsuccessful. 

Last week, the J.S.C. unanimously voted to recommend the suspension of the President. 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said the decision on the future of the President will most likely end up before Parliament for its deliberation. 

By Joyetter Feagaimaali'i, 15 May 2019

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