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Former ‘Ikale Tahi player‘Ēpeli Taione convicted on drug cocaine possession charge
00:56 am GMT+12, 17/12/2020, Tonga

The Supreme Court has found ‘Epeli Taione guilty of possession of illicit drugs.
 
His co-accused Kuliti Tongamoa, aka “Creed” was found guilty on two counts of supplying illicit drugs.
 
Taione, who was married to Princess Pilolevu’s eldest daughter was arrested after police executed a search warrant and took several people into custody in ‘Umusi in February.
 
Police found the former ‘Ikale Tahi player and former chair of the national rugby union board, sleeping in a room inside Tongamoa’s workplace.
 
Police seized Taione’s mobile phone and found a text message which read: “Koau eni mihi is Creed” (‘I am sniffing is Creed’).
 
The judge after making clarifications on the message and what she believed was an auto-correct mistake said the message intended to say “Ko au ‘eni mihi ‘ia Creed” which means “I am sniffing at Creed’s” workplace.
 
Both accused men pleaded not guilty to the offences and stood trial, local news media have reported.
 
Justice Langi said she was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the first accused Tongamoa supplied cocaine to Taione.
 
She found Tongamoa guilty on one count of supplying 0.01 grams of cocaine.
 
Taione was found guilty on one count of possession of 0.01 grams of cocaine.
 
Both accused remain on bail and will be sentenced on February 19, 2021.
 
Meanwhile, a third person Tome Suasau was sentenced recently to eight months in prison, but Langi suspended the sentence completely because he had pleaded guilty and co-operated with the police.

SOURCE: KANIVA TONGA NEWS/PACNEWS


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