Manslaughter suspects enter not guilty pleas

Herman Westerlund and Suapaina Savaiinaea have both entered not guilty pleas to the manslaughter charge, that they are jointly charged with over the death of Jeremiah Malaki Tauili’ili.

Savai’inaea was also granted bail today and released, with his not guilty plea entered in the Supreme Court, through his attorney Leiataua Jerry Brunt.

Westerlund’s plea was also entered through his lawyer Fepuleai Patrick Fepulea'i, who appeared before Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava'asue Falefatu Sapolu — during criminal mention this morning.

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Prosecutor, Tofilau Leone Su’a, did not object to the release of Savaiinaea on bail with the condition that he surrenders his travel documents, sign in at the police station twice a week, be subjected to a curfew, and that he is not allowed on the premises where the incident occurred. 

Chief Justice Patu noted that the prosecution did not object to the bail and the deceased’s father Sulamanaia Tauili’ili — who objected to Savaiinaea’s bail last week — was not in Court today. 

“The Court record reflect that the prosecution did not object to the Court and that Sulamanaia is not present in Court today,” said the Chief Justice, who then granted the bail.

During the Supreme Court mention last week, the Chief Justice granted Savaiinaea bail with strict conditions. However, Sulamanaia informed the Court he is the father of the deceased, and objected due to concerns he had for the safety of Savaiinaea. The Chief Justice accepted the objection and rescinded his decision to grant Savaiinaea bail.

The hearing for Westerlund and Savaiinaea is now scheduled for June 10, 2019.

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