Wanted convict still in Australia

By Deidre Fanene 11 July 2016, 12:00AM

A prisoner who escaped from jail, managed to secure a visa and skipped the country, is to be brought back to Samoa to serve the rest of his sentence.

Valufitu Uolilo, who was jailed for causing actual bodily harm and being armed with a dangerous weapon, was recently found by Australian authorities.

But Police Spokesperson, Maotaoalii Kaioneta Kitiona said they want him back in Samoa.

 “He needs to serve his time in prison here in Samoa,” Maota said. 

“The criminal charges he was found guilty of, were committed here. We also want to find out how was he able to flee the country in the first place.”

Maota said the Police investigation is continuing.  “At the moment, no one has been charged yet for this case,” he said, adding that the Police are working with other agencies such Immigration to determine what happened. “But we need the prisoner back to tell us what happened and how he did what he did.”

After being on the run for more than a year, Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil confirmed last month, that Uolilo had been captured.

 “He is going through a legal process in Australia and they had to decide whether to deport him back or keep him there,” said Fuiavailili at the time. 

Fuiavailili told the Samoa Observer the process could take months and years.

He said the Transnational Crimes Unit has been in contact with the Australian Federal Police about the matter.

“I don’t know why someone would want to keep a criminal there especially an escaped prisoner, I would rather have that person out of my country as well but that’s their opinion. They are going to do what they need to do,” added Fuiavailili. 

 “We did the best we can and we do with the resources we have. We are just going to hang tight until we hear anything else from Australia.”

Fuiavailili also thanked the Australian Government and their law enforcement for playing their part and they are still cooperating with them on the legal framework.

 “We thank the Australian Government and their law enforcement on doing their side of the job but we are still trying to work with them in the legal framework of everything else”. 

By Deidre Fanene 11 July 2016, 12:00AM

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