Bail denied for murder accused

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Court House Mulinuu

Court House Mulinuu (Photo: File)

Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren has denied the bail application for the 18-year-old murder defendant. 

Ietitaia Misialofa of Fogasavai’i is accused in the murder of a man from Vailoa last month. 

The deceased was found dead on the side of the road with severe injuries to his head. 

The defendant, who pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder and being armed with a dangerous weapon, sought the Court’s discretion to be released on bail. 

The defendant is represented by Afamasaga Michael So’onalole, while prosecuting the case is Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa. 

Afamasaga noted the defendant has been in custody since 26 March 2018. He was working for a pork bun business at Vailoa when the incident happened. 

Justice Tafaoimalo denied the bail noting “the seriousness of the crime with the highest penalty of mandatory life imprisonment. 

“There is strong evidence including the defendant’s cautions statement in which he admits to the crime. 

“I find relevant affidavit from the family of the deceased in which they are still angry and hurt and there is a risk to the safety of the defendant.

“Also the court considers the fact that a life was lost and deceased suffered brutal injuries and therefore bail is denied,” ruled Justice Tafaoimalo. 

According to the affidavit in support by the leading investigator Sergeant Sani Afu, he strongly opposes bail for the defendant. 

“The defendant is charged with the highest offence in Samoa, liable to mandatory life imprisonment. 

“The family of the deceased is still very much hurt and angry about the death of their beloved son and that the safety of the defendant is at risk given the anger by deceased’s family from this matter. 

“The defendant himself made a full voluntary confession after he was cautioned and he admitted that he deliberately dropped or threw rocks at the deceased’s face about three times while the deceased was lying motionless on the ground,” according to the affidavit. 

Furthermore, the affidavit indicates that during the investigation, two rocks were located at the scene “starred with blood”. 

“And that both rocks were big in size that a person would require both hands to carry each rock.

“That I have seen the deceased’s face at the hospital, and it was badly disfigured consistent with the actions of the defendant as he confessed,” stated SSgt Afu in his signed affidavit. 

Furthermore, SSgt Afu noted there has been no reconciliation and the victim’s families “are not at peace with this matter”. 

SSgt Afu in his affidavit further stated “I strongly believe that it is no safe for the deceased’s family and the defendant himself to be released on bail pending this matter”.

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