Alleged ice ring trio in Court

By Deidre Tautua – Fanene ,

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Court House Mulinuu

Court House Mulinuu

Three hospital workers, charged and accused of stealing pharmaceutical products from the Hospital Pharmacy last month, appeared in Court yesterday.

They are Pio Fesola’i, Amanono Mafualo and Fou Sekone. The trio is accused of being part of an alleged ring to manufacture methamphetamine or ice. 

Supreme Court Justice, Leiataualesa Daryl Clark, presided.

The Prosecution lawyer was Fuifui Ioane of the Attorney General’s Office.

One of the defendants, Sekone, was represented by Leafa Donald Kerslake. He entered a not guilty plea for his client.

Fesola’i and Mafualo did not want lawyers.

 “For the defendant, Fou, the Court has noted down your not guilty plea through your counsel to all the charges,” he said. 

“But as for the other two defendants, I believe this matter was called before Chief Justice Patu Tia’va’su’e Falefatu Sapolu and he asked you whether you want to engage a lawyer and you said no.

“So are you ready to respond to the charges against you? 

Both defendants said yes.

In reading out the Police summary of facts, all three defendants face charges of theft as servants.

 “It says in between November 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018, 31-year-old Amanono Afualo of Vaitele Fou and Fusi Safotulafai, a former employee of the National Health Service, took six large boxes of paracetamol, which cost $660 for one box and total amount of these six boxes is $3,960 products of the National Health Service.”

Mafualo pleaded not guilty.

“Secondly, at Moto’otua in between December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018, all three of you were employed by the National Health Services. You took 16 large boxes of paracetamol estimated to $10,560, products of the National Health Services.

Fesola’i and Mafualo both entered guilty pleas to this charge.

Fesola’i faced a third charge. 

“It states in between November 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018, you were employed by the National Health Service, you took six large boxes of paracetamol which estimated to $3,960, products of the National Health Services.”

Fesola’i pleaded not guilty.

Justice Leiataualesa adjourned the matter for hearing on 17 July 2018.

“In respect of the guilty pleas, those should be sentenced after the hearing,” he told the prosecution as well as the defense counsel.

“In respect of the defendant, Fou, through your counsel, your not guilty pleas to all the charges are noted.

“For you Amanono, your plea of not guilty to the one charge is noted and your guilty plea to the other charge is noted.

“And for Pio Fesolai your guilty plea to S275/18 is noted and your not guilty plea to S146/18 is noted.”

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