Lost Gun reappears as Court Registrar is accused of stealing it

Rula Vaai

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PHOTO: A police officer with the SAR model 7.62mm gun said to be stolen from the Court Exhibit Room six years ago. 

By Rula Su’a – Vaai

APIA SAMOA – FRIDAY 26 APRIL 2019: The trial of a former Senior Court Registrar accused of stealing a firearm from the Court Exhibit Room started in the Supreme Court yesterday.

Victory Lesa has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In court, police witness Lomigo Brown of Lalovaea testified that he remembered that the defendant called him that he had a weapon he wanted to sell.

Brown said he went with his two children and his wife to Vailima where he met with the defendant on the road beside of the Robert Louis Stevenson’s Museum. The defendant handed him a gun in a black bag.

Brown said, the defendant told him to take the gun and find someone to sell it to. Brown told court he gave the defendant more than $1000 talā three weeks later.

Brown also identified photographs of the gun, an assault rifle –a SAR model 7.62mm.

Brown also testified that on the 22nd of June 2018, he went with his wife and his children to Faleula to see his mechanic. He said he was shocked when they arrived and there were police everywhere.

He was approached by one of the police officers, and his car was searched. The police found the gun inside the boot of his car.

This is the weapon said to have gone missing six years ago from the court room and was allegedly found in the witness’ possession.

The trial continues.

Police officers with the gun outside court. Photo by Rula Su’a Vaai/Talamua Media