Court grants to reduce murder charge to manslaughter in a 2018 death case


Acting Chief Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson has granted the application to reduce the murder charge to manslaughter against two of the four men charged in connection to an incident where a man who was found dead in a boot of a vehicle in 2018.

Prosecutor, Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa two weeks ago informed the court during the call over they are seeking to reduce the murder charge to the kidnapping charge.

The four men implicated Iopu Taimalie, Iapesa Elisara, Anzac Matavale and Feagaiga Touli were initially charged with murder and they have denied are from Laulii.

Justice Vui ruled to downgrade the murder charge to manslaughter for Elisara and Talimalie in addition to the kidnapping charge which also includes Matavale and Touli.

Police report says the men chased down the defendant who didn’t pay his taxi fare and allegedly stuffed him in the boot of the taxi and drove to the police station.

However upon arrival at the Police station the man had died.

Prosecutor Lupematasila told Radio Polynesia in earlier interview they don’t have enough evidence to proceed with the murder charge hence the application.

Also the “autopsy report” indicated the man “died as a result of severe head injuries” however there are no witnesses and evidence to proceed with the murder charge.