Three men appeared at the Tuasivi District Court this week in connection to the ransacking of the Salelologa market earlier this year where public and private properties were destroyed.
The accused are Junior Pauli Mark, Tony Fiu Tafea and Viliamu Touli Fagaese. Junior faces two charges of intentional damage, Tony faces one charge of being armed with a firearm and Viliamu faces charges of being armed with a dangerous weapon.
They were to be sentenced this week. However, given the seriousness of the charges; District Court Judge Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma had asked for a probation report.
He also referred the matter to be called in Apia for sentencing on 8 August.
A matai from the village of Salelologa by the name of Fiu took the floor and told the Court that there had already been a reconciliation.
“Therefore I am seeking your honour for indulgence to have leniency on the defendants,” he said.
“As you see, they are young and it’s their stupidity that has made them act the way they did."
“However, we have had our ifoga (traditional apology) and we apologise to the people that were affected. That is all I can say and at the end of the day it is up to your honour to make a decision on these boys.”
According to the police summary of facts that was read out in open court by prosecution Sergeant Khamthan Stanley, the three men are from Saletagaloa, Salelologa.
“Junior is a 31-year-old male of Salelologa, Tony and Viliamu are both 22 years old from the same village."
“The first victim of the offending is a 38-year-old female from the village of Salelavalu and she has a food stall at the Salelologa Market."
“The second victim is another female at the age of 28 and she also owns a stall at the same market and the last victim is a 41-year-old male who owns a barber shop as well as pool tables at the market."
“The incident occurred on 28th May, 2018 at the Salelologa Market where there was a dispute between the young men of Salelologa and Salelavalu."
“The said defendants went to the market on the day and started provoking and destroyed the belongings of the victims."
“The third defendant by the name of Viliamu was armed with a dangerous weapon namely a rock where he threw the rock towards the glass of the barber shop and the glass broke."
“The second defendant, Tony, was armed with a firearm namely a 12 gage and together with other young men started provoking the people."
“The first defendant, Junior, was the one who destroyed the food stall of the first victim.”