28 Apr 2006

Samoa Appeal Court quashes airline clerk's sentence

5:09 pm on 28 April 2006

The court of appeal in Samoa has quashed conviction and sentence of a former accounts clerk of Polynesian Airlines.

Fa'afetai Eteuati was convicted in the Supreme Court last June on six counts of theft and sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia reports

"The council for the appellant, Toleafoa Solomona To'ailoa, in his submission and legal arguments says the accused had been convicted on assumption. He also argued that a substantial part of the case for the prosecution rested on hearsay evidence. Toleafoa said that just because the accused had received monies from the airline's customers for air-fare tickets, therefore she must have been the one who falsified the accounts and thereby committing theft without any direct evidence. The court of appeal has decided that documentary evidence shows that no receipt books were produced and none of the relevant application forms could be located. There was evidence as well, that sometimes receipts remained in the books. The new President of the court of appeal, the Justice Ellis ruled there will be no order for a new trial and the conviction and sentenced are quashed."