Former Catechist acquitted of attempted murder of partner

Court House, Apoa

The Court House, Apia

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA: FRIDAY 8 MARCH 2013: A charge of attempted murder against a former catechist in the Catholic Church has been dismissed.

Lafaele Talatonu, 45, of Falese’ela, allegedly tried to kill his defacto wife, Sui Tuiafiso, telling her to get back into a burning car.

Sui testified that Lafaele set the car on fire and tried to kill them both.

In his denial of the accusation, Lafaele said the fire started while they were on their way to Samatau.

He heard a sound similar to the sound of a “faga ofe” or bamboo cannon.

As he stopped the car, he noticed smoke and screamed at Sui to jump out, he said.

Sui was already out of the car.

To prove his point, he showed the Court burns he’d received.

His version was that Sui knew his family had tried to end their relationship.

Sui heard a conversation between him and his brother and “came to me with a knife,” Lafaele said.

His relatives intervened but Sui went for a crowbar.

Things simmered down but the next day as he was about to go to the plantation, he  heard Sui  talking on the phone.

The defendant alleged that Sui told him that her brothers, both convicts, were on their way to kill him.

Sui begged him to leave and so they went to Saanapu for the day.

The next morning Lafaele decided to visit his mother at Falelatai, but fear of Sui’s brothers  changed the course of their trip to Samatau, where the incident occurred.

Lafaele said he loved life and he’d be stupid to end it the way Sui alleged.

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