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Young offender asks to change guilty plea

A young man from Vaiusu, who initially pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of a Chinese national who survived an armed robbery incident last year, is asking to change his plea. 

Kome Sioeli was one of four defendants accused of offending in Vaitele in October last year which led to the death of Chinese national Cao Yaqing. The Court has already sentenced co-defendant Gogosina Lelei Leilua to life imprisonment for the death of Yaqing.  

Represented by lawyer Charlie Vaai, Sioeli has applied to change his guilty plea to not guilty for the attempted murder of Chinese national Jun Li. 

He appeared before Chief Justice, His Honour Satiu Simativa Perese during the criminal mention callover. 

Prosecutor and Attorney General’s Office lawyer, Fuifui Ioane asked for an adjournment so she can respond to the request from the defence. 

Chief Justice Satiu granted the request and adjourned the matter to 17 August. 

Sioeli could not be released on bail as he is serving time for a separate crime he committed. According to the summary of facts, where Leilua was given life imprisonment, the young defendants from Vaiusu allegedly planned to burgle the Pacific Traders Limited in Vaitele. 

After two and half hours of planning, the young defendants allegedly armed themselves with weapons and made their way to the Vaitele warehouse and committed the crime. 

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