Lawyer moves to quash charges

By Pai Mulitalo Ale 13 September 2016, 12:00AM

The lawyer representing suspended Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, is seeking to quash the charges against his client.

Komisi  Koria made his intentions known in the Supreme Court yesterday where he questioned the legitimacy of charges against the Commissioner.

Fuiava faces charges including unlawful detaining of a person, disorderly conduct in a public place, perjury and making a false statement in relation to the wrongful arrest of member of the public last year.

Yesterday, Commissioner Fuiava appeared before Justice Lesatele Rapi Va’ai.

It was then that Mr. Koria told the Court they don’t understand the nature of the allegations against his client and he is therefore seeking to quash them.

 “Given the poor state of the file that has been provided to us, and the obvious lack of evidence behind the way that charges have been filed, it is in our application that the police charges need to be quashed in Court to avoid further prejudice of evidence,” said Mr. Koria. 

The lawyer based his argument on the documents provided to his office by the National Prosecution Office (N.P.O), which filed the charges. 

Mr. Koria drew the Court’s attention to the charges of perjury and making a false statement to the Ombudsman. 

“The charges that we have been served do not particularise what the statement is that my client is alleged to have made knowing that statement is false,” he said.

“You cannot charge a person with an offence of perjury and not particularise what the statement is that he has allegedly made.” 

Mr. Koria said he has asked the N.P.O on several occasions to provide him with the details of the statement so he can understand the nature of the charges against Fuiavailiili. 

However, Mr. Koria was told by the acting Director of the National Prosecution Office (N.P.O), Muriel Lui, that he needed to make a proper application before the Court to be given that information. 

“It is the Constitutional right for my client to be given all the information in relation to the charges to understand the nature of all the information against him,” Mr. Koria said. 

He added that it is the duty of the N.P.O to provide all of that information to them, something they have failed to do.

As for the other charges of unlawful detaining and disorderly conduct in a public place, Mr. Koria said his client was a secondary party to the alleged offence. 

He said the charges again to not particularise how his client is alleged to have participated in the offences yet there is a primary offender.

Mr. Koria argued that if the charges had been properly investigated and properly considered, there is no way this matter would be brought before the Supreme Court. 

Mr. Koria also told the Court the charges are baseless and there are insufficient evidence to prove them.

The Acting Director of the National Prosecution Office, Muriel Lui, objected to the claims from Mr. Koria.

While she confirmed a request from the Commissioner’s lawyer for information, she said she already informed Mr. Koria that he would have to do things the proper way and that involves an application before the Court.

But Justice Lesatele interrupted.

She asked Ms. Lui whether there is a need to file an application with the Court when they are in the position to provide the information needed in relation to the charges.

In the end, Justice Lesatele ordered the N.P.O to provide all the documents in relation to this matter to Mr. Koria and his client.

The matter has been adjourned until next Wednesday for a decision on the application to quash the charges.

By Pai Mulitalo Ale 13 September 2016, 12:00AM

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