Fuiava’s team seek stay in proceedings

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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Fuiavailiili Egon Keil

Fuiavailiili Egon Keil (Photo: File)

The hearing of more than 200 charges against the suspended Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, has been adjourned one more time.

The adjournment is to allow Supreme Court Justice Lesatele Rapi Va’ai to consider an application by the defense for a stay in the proceedings.

The application was filed before the Supreme Court yesterday by his lawyer, Lei’ataualesa Komisi Koria. A stay of proceedings is a ruling by the Court halting further legal process in a trial. The Court can subsequently lift the stay and resume proceedings based on events taking place after the stay is ordered.

Yesterday, the Prosecution also confirmed the accused is facing only one charge of incite to murder. 

The other firearm related charges have been referred for hearing in the District Court, the Court was told.

Lawyer for the National Prosecution Office, Lucy Sio, confirmed that there were initially four charges of incite to murder but the other three charges have been withdrawn and dismissed.

Upon hearing about the application for a stay in proceedings from the defense team, Ms. Sio also sought an adjournment.

Outside the Court, lawyer Lei’ataualesa was asked for an update on his application for his client to be granted permission to access police facilities as well witnesses to prepare for his defense.  “A decision has already been made but it was discussed in Chambers and I cannot discuss that with you,” said Leiataualesa. 

He also did not want to discuss their concerns about the Police tampering with evidence, as they expressed in Court last week.

“Sorry I cannot discuss that right now, but it will come out in Court,” he said.

Away from the incite to murder and weapons related charges, Fuiava is also facing charges of threatening words and as well as insulting words.

The charge of incite to murder is in relation to a complaint filed by a police officer who was involved in a drug raid at Faleatiu on the 14th August 2015. 

It is alleged that the accused ordered the complainant who is a police officer to murder a male of Faleatiu who was the suspect during the police raid. 

Other charges are in relation to a number of weapons collected during the fire arm amnesty last year where the Fuiavailili kept some of the weapons, registered them to be used by the Tactical Operation Squad. 

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