Court Report



Sefo Lemalu the third inmate who escaped from the Tafuna Correctional Facility in January 2010 and assaulted an ANZ bank security guard was sentenced to five years in jail.

There are four defendants in this matter, Gasona Mafiti who was sentenced five years, David Maea receIved a seven-year sentence, while the only inmate who had a jury trial Pati Lepou will be sentenced later this week.

Lemalu apologized to the victim, the court and the government for his actions and pleaded with the court for leniency. The defendant was initially charged with first-degree robbery and escape from confinement; however under a plea agreement with the government, he pled guilty to escape from confinement while the more serious charge of first-degree robbery was dismissed.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse handed down a straight five year sentence for Lemalu noting that this coincides with all the sentences which the court handed down last week for Mafiti and Maea, the co-defendants in this matter.

In the jury trial of Lepou in May, the government called to the stand Lepou’s cellmates from the time of the incident, Maea, Lemalu and Mafiti, told the court they managed to open their cell with a key which belonged to a correctional officer, saying they then climbed over the fence before they came across the ANZ security guard, who they assaulted.

Lepou was found guilty of first-degree robbery, escape from custody and first-degree assault.


Police Officers Talia Seloti and Sausaulele Sai charged in connection with stealing ipods from a case they were investigating had their pretrial conference continued to next month.

The police officers matter was heard before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond who was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr last week.

Officer Seloti is charged with felony stealing, embezzlement and tampering with physical evidence. He’s out on surety bond of $10,000.

Officer Sai is charged with embezzlement and tampering with physical evidence.

According to the government’s case, two female juveniles were reported to police from Ace Hardware after they allegedly took two Nano iPods in November 2010. The Nano iPods were surrendered to the police by the junveniles, which then allegedly went missing, with no property report(s) prepared. Both officers are said to have been assigned to investigate the case, by watch commander Sergeant Solova’a Mageo. One iPod is alleged to have been stolen out of the locker of one of the officers, while the other is alleged to have admitted to taking it home.

According to the government’s case the total value of the two IPODs is $278.99.


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