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Tiapula thief changes plea

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A man who pleaded not guilty to charges of stealing more than 100 tiapula changed his plea after police lowered numbers of the taro variety they said were taken.

The matter was heard before District Court Judge Mata Tuatagaloa.

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Aso Vavega was represented in court by lawyer Maiava Visekota Peteru.

Aso is jointly charged with Maile Teo Pusa. Maile failed to appear.

Maiava told the court that she was given no explanation by her client for Maile’s absence from court.

Police Prosecutor Poe Junior Ualesi asked the court for a warrant of arrest to be issued for Maile.

Maiava then asked the court to vacate a not guilty plea to the charge against Vavega.

Judge Tuatagaloa asked prosecution if they were ready for sentencing.

Ualesi asked that the matter be adjourned.

He told the court that prosecution was not ready for sentencing and requested that the matter be adjourned to 21 March for sentencing.

No further details about the theft of the tiapula were mentioned in court yesterday.

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