Vaiusu Chiefs fined over death of man in the village


Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Khamtahn Stanley convicted of actual bodily harm has been fined $3000. His co-defendant Ulugia Lomalasi Laufili convicted of assault was also fined $500. 

The men were charged in relation to the death of a 20-year-old man in 2019.

The sentencing was handed down yesterday.

The men were ordered by Supreme Court Justice, Lesatele Rapi Vaai to pay their fines by Friday at the close of business at 4 pm, if not, Stanley will be jailed for three weeks while Ulugia will serve two weeks at the Tanumalala Prison. 

Justice Vaai pointed to the seriousness of the offence hence the Court of Appeal’s decision to convict them. Adding the men are both Chiefs and leaders in the village of Vaiusu. 

In January, the defendants pleaded guilty in the District Court to the charge of intent to cause actual bodily harm, and Stanley sought a discharge without conviction pursuant to section 69 of the sentencing Act 2016 and was successful. 

The second respondent was also discharged without conviction as a result although he did not seek a discharge and that decision was handed down by District Court Judge Leota Raymond Schuster. 

The Independent Prosecutor filed an appeal which was upheld and a conviction was entered against the defendants.