Ex-Lecturer accused of attempted murder

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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HELD IN CUSTODY: Former lecturer at the National University of Samoa, Christopher Gounder.

HELD IN CUSTODY: Former lecturer at the National University of Samoa, Christopher Gounder. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

The man who proposed to set up Samoa’s third university has had his plans seriously derailed.

Instead of running the “The Oceania A+ Educational solution University (O.A.E.S.U)” which he planned at Poutasi Falealili, Christopher Gounder, has found himself in Police custody at Tafa’igata.

Accused of attempting to murder his wife, the former Lecturer at the National University of Samoa has been locked up since April.

This week, Gounder appeared before Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Darryl Clarke, where he applied for bail.

He was represented by lawyer, Tuisa Tasi Patea.

The Supreme Court heard from Tuisa that the alleged victim has been visiting her husband in jail and they have seven children. 

He argued that the defendant was not a risk.

But the Prosecution objected to the application, noting the seriousness of the charge. 

Justice Leiataualesa then ordered Tuisa to file and serve a bail application by 12.30pm on 24 May 2018, with hearing scheduled on 31 May 2018. 

Furthermore, the Prosecution was ordered to file and serve its response to the bail application two days before the hearing. 

In the meantime, Gounder remains in the custody of Police at Tafaigata.

Last year, Gounder revealed his plan to set up a third University in Samoa, with the aim to promote quality education.

At the time, he said the University was to be called “The Oceania A+ Educational solution University (O.A.E.S.U)” and it was mainly for “the students of Samoa.”

 “I have taught at various institutes in Samoa. And for the last three years, I have been teaching English at the National University of Samoa,” he said. 

 “I have taught many students and touched lives of many students. I haven’t been only a lecturer, but I have also been a mentor and a counsellor for many students at no cost.”

Gounder is Indo-Fijian.

 “My wife is from Samoa and we have seven children,” he said.  “My children, their first language is Samoan. I might look Indian to you but my heart is Samoan.” 

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