13 May 2019

Samoa registrar found not guilty of courthouse firearm theft

11:50 am on 13 May 2019

A senior court registrar in Samoa, Victory Lesa, has been found not guilty of stealing a firearm from a police exhibit room at the courthouse.

Court house in Samoa

Court house in Samoa Photo: RNZ / Mary Baines

Two further charges of possession of an illegal firearm against the accused were dismissed by the court.

The prosecution withdrew the charges during a final submission following a one day trial last month.

The weapon, an assault rifle, had gone missing from the exhibit room sometime between 2013 and 2015.

The police say the rifle was found in a man's vehicle during a raid in 2016.

The man, Lonino Aumua Brown, had told the court the weapon was sold to him by Mr Lesa.

However, the prosecution was unable to provide evidence to prove that the accused was the person who had removed the weapon from the exhibit room.

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