“Village council should penalise drug convicts”
Member of the Council of Deputies and Apia paramount chief, Tuiletufuga Le Mamea Ropati, agrees the village council should penalise anyone involved in drugs.
Responding to concerns expressed recently by Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson, Tuiletufuga said he was not aware the matter was raised in Court last week until the story was published in a newspaper.
The Judge questioned why the Apia village council did not penalised Paulo Afamasaga, who had earlier pleaded guilty to drug charges.
He said there is nothing before the Court to indicate that the defendant received a village penalty for his actions.
“After all Paulo you may be resident in the United States of America, but when you are here, you reside in your village of Apia and are a recognized member of that community.
“And your offence was committed within the confines of the village of Apia. For some reason you have been given a free pass by the village.”
But Tuiletufuga Le Mamea told the Samoa Observer that the matter should be dealt with by the village council.
“I’m certain if the council had known they would have leveled a penalty.
“Also I don’t really have the full details as to this case or why the accused was not penalized, or even if he should be I can’t really say anything.
“All I can say is that anyone involved in drugs and is convicted in Court should be penalized by the village council,” he said.
In October 2012 the Police executed a search warrant on a property at Malifa, as Paulo was suspected of engaging in illicit narcotics. They uncovered methamphetamine, marijuana and a live bullet, leading to charges being laid against Paulo.