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Samoa businessman in marijuana case to be sentenced Friday

A businessman from Faleula-uta who has pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and utensils used for consumption of drugs will be sentenced on Friday before his Honour Justice Vui Clarence Nelson.Niulevaea Ropati Ioane, 47, pleaded guilty to four charges of possession of: half a cigarette of marijuana four branches of marijuana 30 marijuana seeds three pipesHe was originally charged with 13 charges but the Police have withdrawn nine charges.Lawyer for the defendant, Maiava Visekota Peteru in a statement asked Justice Vui to take into consideration the personal consequences to the defendant’s immediate family in the sentence that will be imposed.“The Defendant’s wife and children have now returned permanently to Samoa,” she said.She requested that a starting point of 12 months be considered instead of two years as stated by the Prosecution, which was represented by Leinafo Taimalelagi, of the Office of the Attorney General.“He is on the lower scale of narcotics possession,” Maiava pointed out.She added that the Defendant has been in police custody since September last year.Maiava recommended that her client instead be placed under Probation supervision “given that he is a worthy candidate.