A best friend to CEO Sa’u Justina Sa’u has come forward to reject any suicide plans the deceased had.
Talei Lesa –Ah Liki said in court that her CEO friend lives for her children, family and her mother and committing suicide was not in her plans.
Ah Liki and Justina met in 1995 at Auckland University in New Zealand during their studies and became friends until Justina passed away last year.
Justina was described as an intelligent person and someone who never gives up when given a challenge.
“She loves her family, her children and her mother and she was their family’s right hand with their business in Apolima when her father passed away.
“She would always find a way to resolve her problems whether it’s her family or work place,” the court heard.
“She faced many challenges in life and her lowest point in life was when her husband Johnny passed away unexpectedly.
“At the time of his passing her two children Fa’aSamoa and Talei were young and that was a challenge to her.
“It took a while for her to get back because she was grieving, but she eventually came back and she spent time with her children as well as her family.”
Prosecutor Magele Leone Mailo then ask the witness to think back on the early hours of the 21st of October, 2018 at around 3:36am if she recalled anything happened on that day.
Ah Liki told the court she recalled at 3:36am there was a missed call from Justina’s cell phone.
“Soon after I received a text message saying “Tina is gone,” she said.
“Then soon after I received a call from Kolani saying to me over the phone “Ua alu Tina”. The name “Tina” is what Ms. Ah Liki calls Justina.
“I ask Kolani what he meant by “ua alu Tina” and he said to me “ua uma le ola o Tina ua oki ua kago sis loga ua.” (Tina passed away she hung herself), she committed suicide.
“He was saying to me he’s not sure what happened as they had a good Saturday afternoon and in the afternoon they had a few drinks outside of their house and he’s not sure why Tina did what she did.
“He said he went inside the house for a while to check on the children if they were asleep and after a while he came back outside and she had hung herself on the vigeka tree.
“So I ask him, what happened and he said he doesn’t know why she did that.”
The witness also recalled that Kolani also mentioned that they had a conversation and Justina mentioned her late husband Johnny.
“He said, all of a sudden while we were talking, Justina started to talk about Johnny her ex-husband and how he would go and buy meth from the drug dealers.
“I ask Kolani why would Justina all of a sudden talked about her ex-husband at this point of time but Kolani told me that he was not sure.
“I then asked him again how long ago would all of this happen and he told me that she talked about this 2 hours before she died.
“I then asked him if he was at the hospital and Kolani said no he’s at home with his children but his aunty was at the hospital with Justina but he stayed home with the children because there was no one to look after his children.
“So I told him that I will come in the morning to see him and the children.”
Magele then asked the witness what happened on Sunday morning and Ah Liki said she and husband went to Justina and Kolani’s house at Sinamoga that morning.
She said Sofia (Justina’s mother) was there with Justina’s two cousins Anne and Joyce.
She said Kolani told her that he is not sure why Justina had committed suicide and he then took them to the vigeka tree where the incident have occurred.
Ah Liki told the court they saw the tree where the incident had occurred it was not a tall tree and the branch where Justina had supposedly hung herself.
“Kolani told us that when he found Justina on the tree he tried to lift her up using her feet and untied the rope but he couldn’t.
“He said he then went and got the knife and used the knife to cut the rope which left a scar on her neck and when he got her down he tried to resuscitate her but there was no response from Justina.”
Ms. Ah Liki was asked if she had accepted Kolani’s version that Justina had committed suicide. Ms. Ah Liki said no she did not believe that Justina had committed suicide.
“I say this because we had planned on a trip in September to the World Cup this year. She has plans to spend Christmas with her children at a resort, so I did not believe Justina had committed suicide.
“Justina was a person who would do anything for her children, she was very proud of her children.
“She had hopes for the future.”
Magele put it to the witness if she had known Justina to be suicidal or if she was aware of any occasion where her friend tried to commit suicide and Ah Liki said no.
She was then asked if she was aware of Justina’s relationship with Kolani the witness said yes there was a time where Justina told her of Kolani’s temper.
“Justina told me that she and Kolani have good days and bad days and that he had a temper and when they get into arguments Kolani would get really mad.
“She said she tries to walk away to keep the peace.”
On cross examination, defence counsel Leiataualesa put it to the witness that there are some things that Justina would not share with anyone even her close friends.
“You wouldn’t know if Justina was suicidal because she never discussed it with you,” Leiataualesa challenged.
Ask if Justina had told her anything about her daughter Talei, and the she told the court that Justina only told her that Talei is cheeky and that she does not listen to her.
The trial continues.