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Inoke Tu’alau Motu’apuka pleads not guilty

By Telesia Adams AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Taimi o Tonga, Feb. 1, 2011) - One of the King’s chiefly estate holders ‘Inoke Tu’alau Motu’apuaka, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he abetted the importation of illicit drugs into the country.

Motu’apuaka, one of the highest ranked talking chiefs (matapule) in the land, holds the village estate of Te’ekiu in the Western District.

He appeared in front of Justice Robert Shuster in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, on allegations that on 8th January last year, he conspired with a man named Misinale Talakai to bring in a certain quantity of illegal steroids, both anabolic and androgenic.

Misinale is charged separately along with his wife in relation to the crime.

According to Crown prosecutor Sione Sisifa, Motu’apuaka, is due to appear in chambers on 21st March, along with the Crown counsel and Supreme Court judge.

He is represented by lawyer Mana Kaufusi.

The Crown asked that Motu’apuaka’s trial date be set to the 3rd and 7th of October this year, so that he can be tried together with the Talakai couple.

Motu’apuaka is one of the ancient chiefly titles of Tonga.

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