Attorney General appeals District Court decision to discharge rugby player

Sevens captain Alatasi Tupou who was discharged without conviction by the District Court

By Rula Su’a – Vaai

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 01 AUGUST 2018: The Attorney General’s office is appealing the decision by District Court Judge, Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i that discharged Manu Samoa Sevens Captain Alatasi Tupou of two traffic related charges without conviction.

Last month, Alatasi Tupou pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and driving without a driver’s license.

In the Supreme Court this week, prosecutor Fuifui Ioane filed the application with the Chief Justice Patū Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu that they will be appealing the decision.

“Do you have any application counsel for the Attorney General or are you ready to proceed with the appeal? I do not see any appeal record and the file contents only has a note of appeal,” Patū asked the prosecutor.

Lawyer Tuatagaloa Shane Wulf who appeared on behalf of the defendant said he had not received any appeal documents.

The Chief Justice then accepted the application and adjourned the matter to 14 August for prosecution to serve the notice of appeal to the respondent and to file and serve the appeal record.

During the hearing of Tupou’s matter in court in June, his lawyer Donald Kerslake argued that a conviction ruling against his client will ruin his international rugby career, after all his client had already been under intense public scrutiny.

Presiding judge Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i accepted the defendant’s argument and ordered the rugby player to pay court costs.