Samoa Speaker’s Driver Pleads Guilty To Causing Death

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Samoa Speaker’s Driver Pleads Guilty To Causing Death Polata‘ivao charged with negligent driving, failure to report accident

By Jasmine Netzler

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 2, 2014) – The driver for the Speaker of Parliament, Fa’atau Lealofi Polata‘ivao, accused of negligent driving causing death, has pleaded guilty to the charge against him.

Polata’ivao was charged in relation to a hit and run incident at Vaigaga during the S.I.D.S Conference in September.

The incident killed an Australia-based Samoan who came to help build his family’s home.

On Tuesday, the 37-year-old, who did not have a lawyer, appeared before District Court Judge, Her Honour Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren.

He pleaded guilty to negligent driving causing death and failing to report the incident to the police.

According to the summary of facts, the defendant on 3 September was driving a Toyota Hilux with the number plate 19334 when he hit Vincent Niu.

The deceased, 48-year-old, was on his way to the shop when he was hit.

The Prosecutor, Inspector Rosalia Matamua, made an application for bail.

Judge Tafaoimalo, however, denied the application. She sought reassurance from the Police if the defendant would be safe if he is released on bail.

The matter has been adjourned until 17 October for sentencing.

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