12 May 2018

Samoa court president is discharged but AG plans appeal

8:54 am on 12 May 2018

Samoa's Attorney General is set to appeal a decision by the District Court to discharge without conviction the country's President of the Land and Titles court, Fepulea'i Attila Ropati, on charges of assault and causing grievous bodily harm.

Samoa's courthouse

Photo: RNZI/Sally Round

The defendant had pleaded guilty to one count of actual bodily harm as a result of an assault to the night-watchman of the Ministry of Justice during a judiciary end of the year party last December.

The sentencing judge said the matter could have been over if the prosecution had not careless in their preparations which had resulted to the matter being referred to the Supreme Court because of the additional grievous bodily harm charge.

The charge was dismissed by the Supreme Court after the prosecution had withdrawn it.

Immediately after the decision, the Attorney General Lemalu Herman Retzlaff issued a statement and said the decision will be appealed.

He said the gravity of this offending was in our respectful view, far too serious for the defendant to be granted this result by the District Court.

Fepulea'i is currently on special leave on full pay.

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