A government official charged over the alleged sale of Samoan passports online has been granted bail.
Former Immigration Officer, David Uaine, appeared in Court for the first time before Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu, yesterday.
He had been detained since he was arrested two weeks ago. Uaine faces charges of forgery and could potentially face more charges next week.
The defendant is represented by lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu. The prosecutor is, Leone Su’a-Mailo, of the Attorney General’s Office.
Before His Honour Patu, Unasa made an application for her client to be released on bail. She argued “there is no just cause to continue” to detain Uaina.
She said if Uaine is granted bail, he could sign in at the Afega Police post, which is close by to his home.
Unasa also asked for additional time to go through her client’s case before he enters a plea.
The prosecution did not object to the motion.
But Ms. Su’a-Mailo asked the Court to order Uaine to surrender his travel documents, assuring he would not leave Samoa with the hearing pending.
Chief Justice Patu granted the motion.
He also ordered the defendant to appear in court next week Monday.
“This will give you time to meet with your lawyer,” he said.
“While on release, you will first surrender your passport or travel documents.
“Secondly, continue to stay in your family at Tuana’i, unless an order is given by the court.
“Thirdly, you must sign at the Afega Police Post on Tuesdays and Fridays before 12noon.”
Uaine was arrested and charged two weeks ago following a lengthy Police investigation over claims about Samoan passports being sold online to places as far away as South Africa.