Manslaughter charge against Church Minister withdrawn


The Supreme Court has granted a motion by the prosecution to reduce the manslaughter charge to assault against a church minister, Reverend Poasa Leaupepe in relation to the death of a boy in Safotu two years ago.

This was after the medical report and autopsy results confirmed the boy died from leukaemia.

The defendant was initially charged with manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm. He was set to appear in for a jury trial on Tuesday before Justice Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma.

However, the Prosecutor, Fuifui Ioane of the Attorney General’s office, informed the Court of their application to withdraw the felony charges in lieu of a single count of assault.

Adding there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the felony charges. Ms Ioane confirmed that the assault was not disputed.

The Church MInister pleaded guilty to the assault charge on Tuesday.

The incident occurred in February 2020 at Safotu, where he serves as a Church Minister. It’s alleged he assaulted the victim, a few weeks later the boy died at the hospital and that led to the charges against the CHurch MInister.

A medical report provided earlier indicated that the victim died of leukaemia, however as per the order of the Coroner an autopsy was required and the results stated the cause of death was leukaemia.

Ms Ioane told Radio Polynesia, that the defendant is scheduled to appear in the District Court for mention on 14 June to set a sentencing date.