Hearing of motion to quash charges adjourned again

By Pai Mulitalo Ale 09 October 2016, 12:00AM

The hearing of a motion to quash charges against the suspended Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil has been further adjourned.

The decision was made by the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu, setting the matter for 17 October.

The Acting Director of the National Prosecution Office, Muriel Lui, who has been the prosecutor up to this point was not present in Court when the matter was called. It was later confirmed that she had been suspended. 

Komisi Koria and Leinafo Taimalelagi appeared for the defendant.

Fuiavailili is facing 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 a member of the public last year. 

Last month, Mr. Koria sought to quash the charges against his client, questioning the legitimacy of the charges. He told the Court they don’t understand the nature of the allegations against his client and the charges therefore should be dropped.

“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 had 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 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. 

Friday’s hearing was due to a request from Mr. Koria for his application to be heard earlier given the urgency of the matter.

His Honor Patu had indicated that the next available date would be January 2017. However, Mr. Koria asked for an earlier date saying that the hearing would only take about an hour. 

By Pai Mulitalo Ale 09 October 2016, 12:00AM
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