Court denies legal aid for Alatise Vitale

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  • Alatise Leafa Vitale
    Alatise Leafa Vitale

Deidre Fanene

Alatise Leafa Vitale is denied legal aid to hire a defence counsel to represent him as a co-defendant on a charge of theft.

Vitale was released on parole after serving 11 years of a life sentence for the murder of the late Cabinet Minister, Luagalau Levaula Kamu, in 1999.

He is back in custody for violation of parole for allegedly steal $15,999 worth of beer from Ah Fook Enterprises, a Vailima Beer distributor in Salelologa, Savai’i.

The theft reported occurred on two separate occasions in 2017 and 2018.

Presiding Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke, rejected the application by Vitale for legal help.

“Are you willing to find a lawyer at your own expense or would you like to answer to the charges against you,” asked Justice Leiataualesa.

“Your honor I will find a lawyer to my own expense,” Vitale responded. 

Justice Leiataualesa has given him 2 weeks to find a lawyer before the charges are brought up again mention on the 2nd of December.

His co-defendant Fagatua Niupolu has maintained his not guilty plea and also told the court that he did not need a lawyer.