Police, Justice evidence mystery

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 22 April 2018, 12:00AM

The mystery of the whereabouts of a gun submitted as evidence during the hearing of a Police officer remains an unsolved puzzle for the Court and the Police.

The gun was stolen from the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration building and up until now; no one seems to know where it went and who took it.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A), Papali’i John Papali’i, said they are extremely concerned about the lack of developments into the hunt for it.

Since the gun disappeared last year, he said it has not been found and there are no leads on what happened to it or who might be responsible.

 “The matter is still with the Police and we have not received any updates as to the status of the case,” he said. 

The weapon disappeared from the Court’s evidence room in September last year. 

Immediately after, the Police launched an investigation in a bid to find the weapon.

The missing gun is the evidence in the heading of a suspended Police officer who is 10 criminal charges, including the discharging of a firearm. 

Police Superintendent, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo said the investigating is continuing. 

 “This case is still being investigated by the Police,” he said.

“I cannot reveal details of cases that are being investigated, that information will be made available in Court if and when the case reaches the Courts.” 

In the meantime, Papali’i said the removal of the gun has forced the Ministry to reconsider how evidence from Court cases are stored.

He said they are now locked away in a safe place with only one key. 

“I have that key and it will not leave my sight,” he said. 

“All the exhibits that come in will be handed over to me for safe keeping ensuring this issue is not repeated.”

Before, the Samoa Observer understands that exhibits and evidence were usually stored at the office of an A.C.E.O.

“However, for some reason this gun was stored in the office storage room and from there it went missing.” 

A notice has been circulated among the Ministry’s staff members in the bid to locate the gun.

 “A notice was given to the employees for information about the missing weapon as there is no one who has access to the storage room but the employees.”

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 22 April 2018, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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