This inspirational young Doctor was gagged from speaking to the media

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This Doctor initiated one of the most successful Pediatric project in Samoa, and she is not allowed to talk about it

She was inspired to help children of the Pediatric Ward by giving them a memorable experience while they go through painful and potentially life threatening ailments at the National Hospital. Her initiative brought assistance from Samoans everywhere, both locally and overseas. She has initiated a reading programme, a Sunday cupcake community donation programme and secured a container load of toys, reading material, clothing and bedding for sick children in a matter of months. This young doctor who we will now call Super Paed Doc is not only inspirational but hard working, but unfortunately she was not allowed to talk to the media about her project, nor have cameras film her work, or speak to the national media about any aspect of the project, as is hospital policy.

Super Paed Doc remains sadly therefore behind the scenes, despite her heroic and life changing efforts. Super Paed Doc is pictured here watching her colleague talk about her project as it was the only way to get some publicity. If Super Paed Doc spoke to the media, she could lose her job.

The cameras were also not allowed in the Pediatric Ward to film the donations from the New Zealand public toward the Project, all because of Government policy, a gag order of Government workers. But Sefulu Ono Aso applauds the work of Super Paed Doc. Here’s to a nameless hero, a young doctor, an advocate for young patients and an overall awesome human being. Storm Campaign Endorses your Awesomeness.

Dear NZ Judge Presiding Over Fatu Setis Case

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Dear Judge,

I am writing to you on behalf of myself, a Samoan regarding the case of Fatu Seti, who is currently being charged for attacking a young New Zealand woman. You see, in my country and culture, if people are from the same village, we call each other brothers and sister, in this case, since Fatu is from Samoa, I am therefore writing to you as a Samoan sister of Fatu Seti.

My sentiments here are expressed based on my understanding of the case as expressed through the media, that a young woman did not consent sexual intercourse with Fatu in 2005 and subsequently he fled from New Zealand after being charged with rape. I understand our dear Prime Minister and other high profile figures have written to you in support of Fatus character. But here is what I hope you would do.

It is therefore on that note that I wish to shed some light on the true value of Fatu to Samoa.

1. A Fire Dancer: Although indeed a talented fire dancer, Fatu Seti is not the only professional fire dancer in Samoa, not the youngest, nor the most unique nor the most talented. Samoans created the art of Polynesian fire dances, there are more Polynesian fire dancers here than there are in any other part of the world.

2. A Chief: There are many Chiefs in Samoa, he is not the only chief, in fact, the title that Fatu Seti holds is held by others too.

3. Asset to our country: I’m sorry I fail to see how he is more an asset than the school teacher who has worked for over 30 years earning USD$60.00 pw to feed her family while Fatu prances around on a stage with a fire stick.

Perhaps what I am trying to say is this, we can certainly afford his absence for six years or however long you see fit to experience your prison system as he mulls over the wrong he has done, and rest assured that fire dancing will continue to take place on our stages, Chiefs will continue to rule their little Chiefdom’s and true assets to this country, the teachers, nurses, fire fighters, the administrators and everyone else will continue about their work contributing to the development of my little nation.

Fa’afetai Tele Lava.

Samoan PM asks judge to go easy on fire dancer charged for rape

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Fatu Seti.Image

By Heather McCracken

Samoa’s Prime Minister made a plea for leniency for a man who avoided a rape charge for eight years after fleeing New Zealand for Samoa while on bail.

Fatu Seti, co-owner of a resort in Apia, was sentenced by Judge Grant Fraser in the Auckland District Court yesterday to four years 7 months in prison. He had been found guilty by jury trial of the rape of a 19-year-old woman on Waiheke Island.

Seti was arrested and charged with the 2005 rape but fled to Samoa while on bail by dressing as a fa’afafine and taking out a passport in a different name. He lived in Samoa for the next eight years, where character references presented in court said he led an exemplary life promoting the country through his work as a fire dancer and as co-owner of a resort.

Seti was extradited last year.

Letters from Samoa’s Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House and police chief described Seti as a “great asset to Samoa”, and said his absence had already been heavily felt.

The PM’s letter asked the judge to be lenient: “I pray for a more lenient sentence that may allow him to return to Samoa as has been the practice by the courts in the past.”

But Judge Fraser said during sentencing that Seti fleeing to Samoa was an aggravating factor.

“Trial was delayed by many years with the need for extradition and the delay has been highly impactive on the complainant.”

He said rape was always a serious, violent offence. “The psychological impact of this offending will stay with the victim probably for the rest of her life.”

The judge said the complainant had accepted a ride home about 2am after a night out in September 2005, and ended up sleeping in Seti’s bed. About 7am she woke to find Seti having sex with her.

She told him “No” and to get off her. “You then got off her without a word and went and lay on a nearby couch,” the judge said.

The complainant, now 28, said after the incident she had self-harmed, began drinking a lot and got into trouble with the police. Seti’s lack of remorse had made it difficult to start the healing process, she said.

“I’ve been living with this for the last nine years and I was finally able to see justice done.”

In sentencing, Judge Fraser took a starting point of six years, added an uplift of seven months for Seti fleeing, a discount of four months for the time spent on electronic bail, and six and a half months for remorse and good character. He said Seti would likely be extradited back to Samoa after his release.

Outside court, defence lawyer Shane Tait said Seti was arrested two days before he was due to fly to New Zealand to hand himself in. Asked why he had avoided facing the charge until then, Mr Tait said it was “just head in the sand for a few years”.

Fatu Seti
• Married with a son.
• Co-owner of Le Vasa resort in Apia.
• Matai (chief) of Saleimoa village.
• Convicted of 2005 rape of 19-year-old.

Friends in high places
Letter from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Sailele Mailelegaoi:
• Seti is a “great asset to Samoa”.
• Has been involved with the tourism industry for more than 25 years, and promoted the country.
• His absence has been heavily felt already.

APNZ