Accused granted bail, legal aid

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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ACCUSED: Viliamu Paulo, also known as Viliamu Peo.

ACCUSED: Viliamu Paulo, also known as Viliamu Peo.

Viliamu Paulo, also known as Viliamu Peo, the man accused of the alleged sexual violation of two girls aged two and six has been granted legal aid and is out on bail.

The prosecutor in this case is Leone Su’a – Mailo.

 In the Supreme Court yesterday before Chief Justice, His Honour, Patu Tiavasue Falefatu Sapolu, Mr. Paulo’s church minister Father Tutusa Ah Kuoi asked the court if the accused could be released on bail.

“Your Honour, I am Viliamu Paulo’s church minister,” said Father Ah Kuoi.

“Viliamu has been living with my wife and I at our home at Leauva’a. However he went to his family’s house to run some errands for his mother.

“The complainant in this matter is Viliamu’s partner who he met on social media via Facebook.

“The two victims involved are the complainant’s children.

“She (complainant) came with her children and lived together with Viliamu at his family’s home at Leauva’a.

“For the information of the court and Your Honour, the complainant does work. However when she goes to go work, the children are looked after by Viliamu’s mother as well as him.

“The complainant is sometimes gone for one or two weeks while her children are cared for by Viliamu, his mother and family.

“Sometimes she comes to see her children on the weekend and then leaves again apparently for work.

“One day she brought police officers to Viliamu’s family to get her children.

“When she left with her children, later on, we heard about the complaint that she had lodged against Viliamu.

“However, Your Honour my coming here this morning is to ask you and the court if Viliamu can be out on bail but he will be residing at my home so I can look after him and help him out with all that is affecting him at the moment.”

Chief Justice Patu then asked the prosecutor whether they opposed bail.

“Yes Your Honour, we do oppose bail due to the seriousness of the offence and we also received information from the police that the defendant was very hard to locate as he moves around a lot,” said Ms. Mailo.

However the court granted bail for the defendant and he is scheduled to appear again next week Monday.

“First of all the application for legal aid has been granted. However it is not confirmed which counsel has been appointed to represent you,” CJ Patu said.

“The request made by the Church Minister has also been granted and you will be on bail under these conditions.

“First you are to reside at Father Tutusa Ah Kuoi’s residence until the court orders otherwise. You must sign in at the Afega Police Post every Tuesday and Friday before 12 in the afternoon.

“If you have any travel documents, you must turn them in and you are not allowed to contact the complainant as well as the victims involved in this matter.

“The matter will be adjourned to next week Monday to see who will represent you during the trial.”

Last month Acting Assistant Commissioner Sala’a Moananu Sala’a told the Samoa Observer that the investigation found the incident was reported to the Police on a Sunday 4, June  in the late afternoon. 

“The mother of the victims informed the police, that her two daughters, aged six and two had been sexually violated by the accused. 

“The accused is said to be a friend of the mother. 

“It’s unclear whether he was the boyfriend, but one thing for sure is that he was a friend of the mother.”

Sala’a said the mother works, leaving her girls with the man.

“This is the time the alleged sexual violation occured,” says Sala’a. 

The Acting Assistant Commissioner did not go into details about the sexual violation.

The man however is charged with “having sexual intercourse with the six year old girl and sexual violation of the two year old girl.” 

The Police investigation is continuing.

 “I’m certain that more charges will be filed once the case is in the hands of the prosecutors.” 

Sala’a also made known the investigation does not stop with the accused. 

“The mother of the victims is also subject to a police investigation on allegations of child neglect.’ 

And if the investigation concludes that any law has been violated regarding child neglect, the mother will be charged as well.”

Sala’a stressed that “children should be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parents and legal guardian.” 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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