Samoa Police Report

joyetter@samoanews.com

MAN WHO STOLE HALF A MILLION TALA IS APPREHENDED  

Apia, SAMOA — Nearly a year since the suspect in a theft case to the tune of half a million tala fled Samoa, the New Zealand Police informed the Samoa Police that they have the suspect in custody. The man who is now behind bars allegedly stole $500,000+ from Yazaki EDS Samoa where he worked.

During the Police Press Conference this week, Superintendent and Police Spokesperson Su’a LeMamea Tiumalu confirmed the New Zealand authorities have captured the suspect and they are working on returning the accused to Samoa to face charges.

Su’a declined to go into details of the case, including the exact amount stolen and how the alleged theft was carried out, noting that the accused has yet to be officially charged. The investigation into the missing funds started late last year when it was reported to the police, however the accused had left the island.

In July this year, Superintendent Maotaoali’i Kaoineta stated during a press conference the reason the accused left the country was because of the delay in reporting of the matter to the police. He said that if the complaint had been filed as soon as the company suspected that monies were being stolen, he believed that matter would’ve been resolved already. Maotaoali’i also pointed out those companies needs to monitor their finances all the time so these types of situations do not occur.

HEARING ON LAWSUIT AGAINST SAMOA POLICE COMMISSIONER SET

Apia, SAMOA — Supreme Court Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson, has scheduled the hearing in the civil suit filed against the Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati, suspended Samoa Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil and the Ministry of Police to be held on November 18, 2016. The $1.05million tala suit in question was filed by former police officer Suitupe Misa against the suspended Commissioner, Minister of Police and the Ministry of Police.

The court document notes that Misa is suing the Minister of Police for a breach of his duty under section 13 (3) of the Police Powers Act, whereas Sala is accused of failing to consider any exceptional circumstances to establish whether or not a police officer(s) ought to have been armed when the police arrested the plaintiff. 

Regarding the suspended Commissioner, Misa notes in his suit that Fuiavaili’ili used the legal process in order to accomplish an ulterior purpose of oppression against him. Misa was arrested at the market place by armed police officers of the Special Tactical Unit of the Samoa Police Service, on allegations that he made death threats against the Police Minister and the Police Commissioner.

According to the court document, Misa is suing for general damages, aggravated and punitive damages, noting that he suffered humiliation, injury to feelings, liberty, mental capacity and injured dignity. He further notes in his suit that he also suffered “temporary confusion and shame experienced, temporary loss of physical comfort for a period of 2 to 3 hours from the time of the unlawful arrest until released at the main police station.” He’s also suing for damages for distress, anxiety and unlawful detention.  During the hearing this week, Sarona Ponifasio who represents Misa stated, “as of today, the Attorney General’s Office has not responded to the claim.”

The court heard from Ponifasio that the AG’s office has motioned the court to stay proceedings for the civil claim until a criminal matter, in which Fuiavailili is involved, is dealt with. Furthermore the AG’s office has also requested a motion of discovery of documents in relation to the plaintiff’s affidavit.

Ponifasio noted that they have filed a notice opposing the application to stay proceedings and requested them to at least file a draft statement of defense. She also noted that the motions are not in order, as they should file a response to the lawsuit first then move to file the motion to stay, however that was not the case here. The attorney who represents the AG’s office noted that they have received the responses however; there is a request for the court to respond to what was filed.

Vui then pointed out to the prosecutor that the documents are in response to their motion. He then noted there is no need for the counsels to “get into the position of you filing documents, and you (referring to both counsels) need to respond to those documents, and this will go on and on and on. The more documents you give me, the more likely I would get confused, so please keep that in mind.” He then scheduled a hearing on the matter for November 18, 2016.

NO POST MORTEM IN CASE OF TODDLER WHO BURNED TO DEATH IN LAULI’I

Apia, SAMOA — The body of the toddler who was burned to death in Lauli’i, Samoa has been released to the family after the police ruled that the case is not a homicide. Superintendent and Police Spokesperson Su’a LeMamea Tiumalu during the police press conference this week noted that there is no need for the child to undergo a post mortem to confirm the cause of death as indicated from police investigation, the fire started from a mosquito coil that was lit by toddler’s 11-year-old brother when the toddler was asleep.

According to Su’a the mother went to town to do shopping Friday morning when and the toddler was left in the care of his grandfather. The toddler was asleep when the house was caught on fire and efforts to save the toddler were unsuccessful.

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