By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 10 APRIL 2018: New evidence was presented yesterday to the Court of Appeal in the case where a father raped his grandniece.
The father is appealing the 2017 decision of Justice Vui Clarence Nelson who convicted and sentenced the father to 3 and half years imprisonment.
In Court yesterday, the 15 year old grandniece took the witness box which was covered with court partitions so she cannot see the appellant and she disputed all her signed affidavit that she told the court in 2017. In her signed affidavit then, she said that the appellant performed sexual acts upon her, by kissing, touching and raping her.
Yesterday, she told the Court of Appeal that nothing had happened, and that the appellant never kissed, touched her or raped her.
“No, he didn’t do anything to me,” she said.
“I lied to the police because I was afraid, and the police who came and took me from my home, threatened me, that if I did not tell the truth, they would take me to jail and or take me to the Samoa Victim Support Group.”
She added, “The police were mean to me and I was so afraid so I lied to them.”
The prosecution then questioned her and put it to her that the reason why she was changing her evidence was because she was threatened by her mother to change her evidence.
“No, that is not the true.”
The prosecution then took her to the first day when she took her statement in the presence of two police constables and her mother, where she told exactly what happened to her. But she said no, she never said anything about any sex acts by the appellant.
The prosecution was represented by Lucy Sio and the appellant by Pa’u Mulitalo Tafaogalupe Mulitalo.
The Court of Appeal is presided by Justice Robert Fisher, Justice Graham Panckhurst and Justice Rodney Hansen and their decisions will be given after they have heard the appeal cases before them in the current sitting.