Court grants bail to Herman Westerlund

The Supreme Court has granted bail to manslaughter suspect, Herman Westerlund.

But the defendant— who together with Suapaina Savai’inaea have been charged with manslaughter in connection to the death of Jeremiah Malaki Tauili’ili — has strict bail conditions while awaiting trial.

The hearing of the bail application returned to the Court yesterday afternoon.

On Wednesday, Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren ordered the Attorney General’s Office to get the police report.

Lawyer Fepulea’i Patrick Fepulea’i, who is representing the defendant, told the Court on Wednesday that his client should be given bail as he was not a flight risk, will not interfere with witnesses, has no previous convictions and will not reoffend while on bail.

The prosecution — through Leone Su’a of the Attorney General’s Office — opposed the bail application on Wednesday.

 She argued that manslaughter is a serious charge and the application should be heard, after the defendant appeared for mention. 

But they changed their position yesterday, and advised the Court that the prosecution did not oppose bail.

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It was then they provided strict conditions the defendant should adhere to. 

“We advise that we do not oppose bail, we have strict bail conditions, such as signing twice a week at the Central Police Station (Mondays and Wednesdays) before 12pm. 

“The defendant will also surrender his passports (Samoan and New Zealand) and any other travel documents, no direct or indirect contact with any of the Police witnesses, and curfew from 7pm to 7am—stay away from the Marina or near the area. 

Also cannot post on social media and cannot contact the co-defendants charged in this case.” 

The Supreme Court then granted bail after the submission by the prosecution and confirmed the conditions outlined by the prosecutor. 

“You are remanded on bail now and you’re to appear in Court next week for mention,” said Justice Tafaoimalo.

But not before warning the defendant that any breach of his bail conditions will have repercussions. 

“Just so you understand that if you breach any conditions outlined you will immediately be taken back to custody of Police,” she added. 

Prior to yesterday’s bail application, the defendant and Suapaina were kept in custody at the Central Police Station in Apia.

Herman Westerlund and Suapaina Savai’inaea will appear for mention on December 17. 

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