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Federal Appeals Court rules In Simeti Lualemana appeal

fili@samoanews.com

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ judgement issued in April this year regarding the appeal filed by defendant Simeti Lualemana, went into effect May 11 this year, according to court documents.

Lualemana of Tula was sentenced last July to 60 months in jail, followed by three years  of supervised release, after being convicted by a federal court jury in Honolulu for the machete attack two years ago on a federal official who was based in the territory at the time. Lualemana was also ordered to pay $6,339 in restitution.

After sentencing by the lower court, Lualemana’s attorney appealed the jury-trial conviction and the jail term.

On Apr. 19 this year, the federal appeal’s court in San Francisco issued a two-page memorandum, saying the defendant’s attorney “has filed a brief stating there are no grounds for relief, along with a motion to withdraw as counsel of record.”

“We have provided the appellant (Lualemana) the opportunity to file a ‘pro se’ supplemental brief. No pro se supplemental brief or answering brief has been filed,” the memo states and noted that the appellate court’s “independent review of the record... discloses no arguable grounds for relief on direct appeal.”

Therefore the  counsel’s motion to withdraw is “granted” and the lower court’s “judgment is affirmed”. On May 11, a “mandate” order by the Appeal’s court stated that its Apr. 19 memorandum is now effective.



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