29 Jul 2019

Life sentence over Samoa New Year's Day murder

4:46 am on 29 July 2019
Court House Mulinuu

Court House Mulinuu Photo: RNZI Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

A young man in Samoa is starting a life senetence in prison for the murder of a fellow villager on New Year's Day this year.

Uimaitua Papali'i of Sapapali'i was sentenced by Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren to life imprisonment after a panel of assessors found him guilty of the murder of Tavita Mauafu last Thursday.

Papalii had told the court during the hearing that he was trying to defend himself against the deceased when the knife he was carrying pierced his neck.

He also told the court that he had gone to Mauafu's home with a knife because he wanted to hurt him.

"I took the knife from the kitchen and I went to his house because I wanted to hurt him back for what he did to me," he said.

Witnesses also told the court that Papalii was the one pursing Mauafu after an incident while they were drinking alcohol.

The assesors did not believe his story and found him guilty of murder.

Juastice Tafaoimalo then sentenced him to life imprisonment.