Judge issues warning
District Court Judge, Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i, has issued a stern warning to the young people of Luatuanu’u.
She has told them not to get involved in any criminal activities such as blocking the road, jeopardizing the safety of the travelling public.
“You are ordered that under no circumstances you are allowed to be involved in any criminal activity pertaining to the public roads, jeopardizing the safety of members of the travelling public,” she said.
“Be mindful the road belongs to the Government.”
Judge Alalatoa issued the warning when the defendants appeared in the District Court for criminal mention this week.
Foma’i Perenise, Saniu Motuella, Jason Kioa, Perenise Leata, Joe Jr Peseta, Sefo Vaiofi, Pito Sakalia, Lafaele Vito Sakalia, Ameperosa Manaia Lama and Jason Kioa, are the defendants.
They pleaded guilty to charges of without lawful justification obstructed a public place, disorderly conduct a road block in a public place and being armed with a dangerous weapon or rocks and took part in a disorderly assembly that has begun to cause serious violence in the vicinity.
Three others, Olasa Tala, Musika Aweli and Aukuso Kiliso, denied the charges.
They will appear in Court for their hearing on 8 August 2018.
In the meantime, the defendants who pleaded guilty will be sentenced on 7 July, 2018.
A 16-year-old boy charged in this matter has been referred to the Youth Court, where his matter will be heard.
Judge Alalatoa reminded the defendants that part of the conditions for their release on bail is that they remain law-abiding citizens.
“Anyone of you that does not comply with these conditions, there are open slots at the university at Tafa’igata Prison, where you can stay during the duration of your case."
“That is the order of the Court and you all must comply.”
Last month, the roadblock by the untitled men in Luatuanu’u was brought under control within two hours.
This was after more than 60 Police officers arrived at the village, dismantled the blockage and allowed traffic to flow.
The road block used rocks at the far end of Luatuanu’u village. The incident started because of a rugby game between Luatuanu’u and Falefa. It is alleged that the Luatuanu’u Under-20 team was beaten and seven players were hospitalised.
The Police were attacked by the Luatuanu’u Village’s untitled men while they were dismantling the roadblock resulting in a few officers getting injured.
When the Police reacted, the attackers took off on foot into the mountains.