Fepulea'i Attila Ropati

Samoa struggles to sack judge

Fepulea'i Attila Ropati was convicted by the Court of Appeal in April for causing bodily harm, but the judiciary and the government has been unable to remove him from his post.

The parliamentary committee looking into the matter recommended he be retained.

But the Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said the committee had lapsed before reaching its recommendation.

The motion to sack Fepulea'i was made by the prime minister.

Twenty-one MPs supported his termination while 18 voted against it.

Nine MPs were not present.

Samoa parliamentary committee to advise on fate of suspended judge

In April, Fepulea'i was convicted and fined $US2,500 dollars on a charge of causing actual bodily harm.

He reneged on a statement that he would resign after the decision and was instead suspended.

Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi said the inquiry will be the first of its kind.

The committee will report back to Parliament who will make the final decision in a two thirds majority vote either to terminate the president or let him remain in the position.

Convicted Samoa judge resigns

The outgoing Chief Justice Patu Tiavasu'e Falefatu Maka Sapolu confirmed that Fepulea'i resigned last week following his conviction of assault by the Court of Appeal.

Patu described the resignation of Fepulea'i as a huge loss to the judiciary.

Patu added that the Judicial Commission was looking for a new judge to take on the role.

Fepulea'i was convicted on one count of intentionally causing bodily harm and ordered to pay a total fine of $US3,500 for attacking a security officer during an end of the year function in 2017.


Samoa's Lands and Titles Court President convicted

The penalty fine includes a reparation cost of $US850 to be paid to the victim and complainant who is the security officer of the court.

The judge had attacked the security officer during his end of the year function in 2017.

Last year, the president had pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared in the district court.

However, in passing sentence in May 2018 the district court judge discharged the defendant without a conviction which was the subject of the appeal.

Back and forth for suspended Samoa court president continues

Fepulea'i was charged after an incident last December in which he hit a security guard with a beer bottle.

He went before the District Court in July this year, when he pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm.

The District Court discharged him without conviction but the police appealed.

Last month, the Supreme Court upheld the appeal, quashing the suspended sentence verdict and sending the case back for retrial in the District Court.