A lawsuit by member of the public, Suitupe Misa, against the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavailili Egon Keil and others is likely to be delayed further with the legal proceedings against the Commissioner now before Court.
This follows an application from a lawyer of Attorney General’s Office, Sefo Junior Ainu’u, to have the matter adjourn without assigning a day for a day.
Mr. Ainu’u told the Court there are criminal charges against the Commissioner of Police which must be factored in.
“It is in our view that it is prejudice to criminal proceedings. We ask that the criminal proceedings be completed before we can assess the civil matter,” he said.
But the lawyer for Mr. Misa, Seuamuli Sarona Ponifasio, objected.
She said the sine die would mean more delays for her client’s proceedings who filed the matter in mid June.
“If that is their position they will have to make a (written) application so we can respond to it,” she said. “Our position is the A.G. has to establish that there is a risk that the case will be prejudice with the criminal proceedings brought against the Commissioner…they haven’t substantiated that and they seemed to assume the details of the charge.”
Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu reminded that the civil proceedings usually follow criminal proceedings. “If the defendant wants to have an adjournment sine dine then I would accept the submission by counsel on the application,” he said.
“The matter is further adjourned to Monday, 5th September for defendant to file and serve a written application in support of their oral application.”
Mr. Misa is suing the Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati, second defendant the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil and the Ministry of Police as the third defendant for $1million tala.
The Police Commissioner was charged last week in relation to the wrongful arrest of Mr. Misa last year. Fuiavailiili is also charged with unlawful detainment, perjury, providing a false report and disorderly conduct in a public place. He is due to appear in the Supreme Court on 29 August 2016.