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Prosecutor alleged to have interfered with arrest following another woman’s public peace disturbance

reporters@samoanews.com

An arrest of a woman over the weekend by police was made somewhat difficult due to alleged interference by a prosecutor from the Attorney General’s office.

Court filings state that police were responding to a call from the Bowling Alley regarding “a drunk Samoan lady causing trouble” at a club inside the building on Saturday evening.

It’s alleged when police arrived at the Bowling Alley parking lot, they observed a group of people boarding an aiga bus. Court filings state that police were approached by Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe who told them that “nothing happened, everything is okay and under control.”

Police said the call they received was from the owner of the club, Marion Fitisemanu who pointed out that the defendant, Malama Petaia was causing trouble in his club. The club owner told police that security guards were trying to tell the defendant that a beer bottle is not allowed on the dance floor for safety reasons; however the defendant got furious and started swearing at the security guards.

After interviewing the club owner, police searched for the defendant who was boarding the bus with Assistant Attorney General Philippe. Court filings say that when police approached the bus, the Assistant Attorney General did not let the police officers inside the bus and after several minutes of confrontation with the prosecutor, police officers then told the bus driver to go over to the Tafuna Sub Station for further investigation.

Court filings stated that when the defendant exited the bus she was under the influence of alcohol, together with Counsel Philippe.

According to court filings every time the police officers tried to interview the defendant, “Counsel Philippe told the defendant to be quiet.”

It’s alleged that when the investigating officer relayed the information regarding why the defendant was taken to the police station, the watch commander ordered the police officers to book the defendant. Court filing says when the defendant was asked to go to the Tafuna Correctional Facility, she refused and four police officers carried the defendant and placed her in the police unit to transport her to TCF.

The defendant was charged with public peace disturbance and made her initial appearance in the District Court on Monday.  Assistant Public Defender Donna Clement represented the defendant while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Blake Hanley. 

No one else was charged in the incident.



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