Supreme Court overturns convictions against former Electricity Commission interim CEO
Liua ‘e Fakamaau Lahi Laki Niu ‘a e tu’utu’uni ‘a e fakamaau polisi’ ‘o fakahalaia’i ‘a e CEO Fakataimi ki mu’a ‘a e Komisoni ‘Uhila', Paula Tupou ki he fakatupu moveuveu ‘i ha feitu’u fakapule’anga. Ne ‘i ai e fetō’aki ‘ia Tupou mo e taha e kau komisiona’ ko Loea Seinimili Tu’i’onetoa Fonua hili hono fokotu’utu’u fakaangaanga atu ‘e Tupou ‘a hono fakalea ‘o e tu’uaki ki he lakanga komisiona ‘uhila’. Ne faka’asi atu ai ‘e Tupou he fakalea’ ‘a e fie ma’u ke ma’u ‘a e lakanga’ ‘e ha taha kuo ‘i ai hano mata’itohi he ‘Enisinia ‘Uhila’, ‘a ia ko e mata’itohi ‘eni ‘oku ma’u ‘e Tupou, ka ne to’o ia. Ne ‘ita ai ‘a Tupou ‘o tukuaki’i ‘a Fonua ki hono to’o ‘o e fakalea ko ia’ ‘o ne ui ai ‘a Fonua ko e valengangau. Ne ‘i ai mo e ngaahi lau kehe 'o tu'unga ai 'a hono tautea 'o Tupou ‘e he fakamaau polisi’ ka kuo fakata’e’aonga’i ia ‘e Fakamaau Laki Niu mo ne pehē ‘oku ‘ikai ko ha feitu’u fakapule’anga ‘a e ‘ōfisi ia ‘o e komisoni ‘uhila’ 'o hangē ko ia ne fai ai 'a e faka'ilo'.
Court has overturned a series of convictions of disorderly behaviour in a
public place handed down to former Electricity Commission interim CEO Paula
originally appeared in court following incidents which allegedly occurred in
the Electricity Commission office.
given that on June 13, 2018, the Commission held a meeting to consider the
contents of the job description of the position of the CEO in order that
the position could be advertised.
prepared a draft of the job description in which he had stated that a
minimum requirement was that an applicant was to hold an Electrical Engineering
degree, the qualification Paula held, but which had been deleted.
angered by this and attacked another member of the commission, Seinimili, who he blamed for the deletion. He
called her insane (vale ngangau).
On July 9,
2018 the Commission met again. At that meeting Seinimili proposed that Tupouâ€™s
position as CEO be terminated because he had only been appointed as interim
CEO, and because he was obstructing the appointment of another CEO .
â€œYou are very stupid, your qualification is that you are the niece of the
Minister of Finance.”
On this and
other evidence Tupou was convicted on four charges.
his report on the case, Judge Niu said the magistrate who heard the original
case had erred in his judgement.
He said the
magistrate had wrongly concluded that the Electricity Commission office was a
said that to secure a conviction it needed to be proved that the incident
referred to took place in a public area. This would have required proof that
the public were allowed to enter the CEO’s room and listen to or participate in
the meetings of the Commission.
magistrate did not do this.
to think that the whole house was the office of the Commission and that it was a public place because the
public were entitled to come to it without condition,â€ Judge Niu said.
â€œShe gave no
evidence that members of the
public attended the two meetings
or were entitled to be present and called no witness to give evidence to that effect.
transcript of her evidence, she did
not even begin to give such evidence, because of her mistaken belief that
the office of the Electricity
Commission was already a public place.â€
said the convictions on all four charges were therefore quashed.
imposed on Tupou were to be refunded.
Supreme Court has overturned a series of convictions of disorderly behaviour in
a public place handed down to former member of the Electricity Commission Paula
Tupou originally appeared in court following
incidents which allegedly occurred in
the Electricity Commission office.
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