Village drama affects Court proceedings
Supreme Court Justice, Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke has questioned why the Police did not show up on time to escort the accused to Court.
The question was raised when one of the defendants, Va’alagoa Kamilo Faumuina, who is remanded in custody, did not appear in Court when he was called on Monday.
It turns out, the Police officers working at Court were called to the dispute at Luatuanu’u on Monday.
When the Court proceedings started, Justice Leiataualesa asked the prosecution, Lealofioamoa Mamaia, where the Court officers were.
She responded that they were attending a matter at Luatuanu’u.
“The defendant is downstairs but the officers at Tafa’igata cannot bring him up here because there are no Court officers,” Ms. Mamaia told the Court.
Justice Leiataualesa then asked why the case at Luatuanu’u should affect the overall function of the Court.
“Where are the Court officers? It is now passed 10 am,” he asked.
In response, Ms. Mamaia said: “We have been informed that nine of the Court officers are responding to an operation at Luatuanu’u.”
But Justice Leiataualesa did not have it: “Sorry that is not satisfactory.”
He adjourned the criminal mention for 10 minutes for the Prosecution to get a response from the Court officers.
When Court continued, all the in custodies were brought inside the Supreme Court, still without the Court officers escorting them.
“Your Honour, those in custody have been brought up but there are still no Court officers,” Ms. Mamaia told Justice Leiataualesa.
Justice Leiataualesa was still not satisfied.
“Counsel have you had a response from the Ministry of Police?” he asked, adding that it is for security purposes that prisoners are escorted in Court by Police officers.
“Well it is unsatisfactory that the in custodies have been brought in before the Court unescorted and without the appropriate security measures in the Court room.”
The Court officers showed up later on.
Outside of Court, a Police officer told the Samoa Observer that they were called to help out with a situation at the village of Luatuanuu.