Samoan Rugby Legend Brian Lima Guilty Of Assault, Threats

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Muliagatele intended to ‘cause grievous bodily harm’ to former wife

By Lanuola Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, May 31, 2014) – Rugby legend, Muliagatele Brian Lima, has been found guilty of three charges against him in relation to an incident involving his former wife, Lemalu Sina Retzlaff.

Two other alternate charges were dismissed.

The decision was delivered by Supreme Court Justice, Her Honour Ida Malosi yesterday.

Muliagatele kept his head low and stared straight ahead of him when the verdict was delivered.

"I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that on 13 December 2013 with intention to cause grievous bodily harm to Sina Retzlaff and Sialofi," she said.

"It is therefore not necessary for me to consider alternative charges of actual bodily harm, they are dismissed.

"I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt on the 13 December 2013, you also used threatening words mainly ‘the person who touches me will die’."

"You were armed with an object, namely a Vailima bottle without lawful purpose, and you threw that beer bottle, endangering Sialofi and Semi Fautua."

Justice Malosi said Muliagatele is remanded until Friday 20th June for sentencing.

Under the Crimes Ordinance 1961, he faces a maximum sentence of seven years for grievous bodily harm, three years on threatening words, and, under the Police Offences Ordinance 1961, a maximum of one year for being armed with a dangerous weapon.

Justice Malosi told the Court she would provide her reasons for the decision afterwards.

The former Manu Samoa player had pleaded not guilty to two charges of intent to cause grievous bodily harm, two alternative charges of actual bodily harm, throwing dangerous objects, possession of a dangerous weapon and threatening words.

Muliagatele was arrested after assaulting his former wife Lemalu Sina Retzlaff and a friend, outside a nightclub last year.

Ruby Drake and Monique Va’ai represented Muliagatele.

Leone Su’a-Mailo, of the Attorney General’s Office, was the prosecutor. The assault generated huge public interest after Lemalu consented to a photo of her battered face being published by Samoa Observer.

Her accompanying story caused an outcry.

Thousands viewed the story online, and hundreds commented on social networks.

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