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Assessors Panel find defendants in conspiracy to murder case Guilty

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 25 MARCH 2023: The two defendants, Malele Paulo and Lema’i Sione in the conspiracy case to murder former Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi were found guilty by a panel of 5 Assessors last night.

The hearing took one week and three days, and the details have been suppressed as a third defendant has yet to stand trial.

Presiding Senior Justice Vui Clarence Nelson took almost 4 hours in summing up the case before the Assessors withdrew to deliberate on their decision at around 4.00pm.

The Court reconvened at around 6.30pm for the Assessors to deliver their verdict. They found the defendants guilty.

Both defendants are remanded at liberty to await sentencing on 24 April 2023.

Outside the Courtroom, Malele told the media that he does not accept the decision.

Counsels involved in the case were Prosecutor Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa for police, Unasa Iuni Sapolu represented Lema’i Sione and Quentin Sauaga and Natasha Schuster for Malele Paulo.