23 Jul 2016

No mention of Australian victims in Samoa prisoner's apology

9:22 am on 23 July 2016

Samoa's Supreme Court Judge, Lesatele Rapi Va'ai, has adjourned the sentencing of prisoner Lautiti Tualima to next month, after hearing an apology from the defendant.

Tualima admitted raping an Australian woman at a tourist resort while on the run last September.

He has also admitted to several other charges including indecent assault, threatening to kill, and armed with a dangerous weapon.

The prisoner was given a chance to speak in court in which he apologised to the country for what he had done.

He admitted that his offences have painted a bad image of Samoa.

But he did not mention the Australian couple who were traumatised by his brutal assault in the apology.

He also sought the court's discretion in considering a penalty against him.

The police summary of facts says the prisoner had escaped from prison last September while he was taken to hospital for medical checks.

The prosecution is seeking a 20 year jail term for Tualima, who is serving also serving jail sentences from separate offences, including burglary and theft as well as escaping from prison.

Tualima will also stand trial on other separate charges of actual bodily harm, assault and theft.

Court house in Samoa

Court house in Samoa Photo: RNZ / Mary Baines

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