Court Report

fili@samoanews.com

THOMAS SIAUMAU 

A man charged with shooting at a police vehicle three weeks ago has entered not guilty pleas to the nine charges against him.

Thomas Siaumau, appeared in High Court last Friday morning for his arraignment where his attorney, Public Defender Douglas Fiaui entered “not guilty pleas to the nine counts.”

With the pleas entered, the court set pre trial conference for early February 2018.  Siaumau, who is held without bail, is facing six felony counts — including assault and weapon charges — and three misdemeanors.

The shooting occurred the late evening of Dec. 14 at the Tony Solaita Baseball Field, while two police officers were on the field, searching for a possible break-in. The officers were called to the ASTCA compound in Tafuna and noticed the gate open at the baseball field and went there to check, when the shots were allegedly fired.

Police Commissioner Le’i Sonny Thompson said early last week that the police investigation is ongoing in this case.

DRUG CASES

Among the drug cases before the High Court last Friday for pre trial conference hearings was the government’s case against Fa’aili Matau, and his defense attorney Public Defender Douglas Fiaui requested a two weeks continuance.

Fiaui informed the court that the defense received last Thursday discovery from the government. Fiaui pointed that the defense wanted an opportunity to review discovery to see if a resolution can be reached in the case. He sought a two-week continuance to Jan. 12, 2018 and the verbal request was granted by Chief Justice Michael Kruse.

Matau remains in custody unable to post bail.

For drug defendant Sonny M. Kelemete, who is out on bail, Fiaui said the defense has received discovery and they are prepared to proceed to trial.

Fiaui also informed the court that his other client, drug defendant Pierce Suapilimai, is prepared to go trial after the defense received discovery. He said both sides have not reached an agreement in this matter.

Trial dates for the two defendants have already been set for later this year or in 2019. However, Kruse informed both the government and defense “to be ready” if an earlier date becomes available for trial.

Kruse then turned to Assistant Attorney General Woodrow Pengelly, saying that there are “many drug cases sitting” not moving forward because the parties are waiting for the test results. And he recommended that the tests be sent out. “Mail them out,” Kruse said.

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