Police blamed for sex accused non appearance in Court
The Police have been blamed for the failure of a man accused of a sex crime to appear in Court.
Toetu Tele’a, accused of having sexual connection with a girl under 12 years old, was scheduled to appear for mention before Supreme Court Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa on Tuesday.
Prosecutor lawyer, Lucy Sio, of the Attorney General’s Office informed the Court that the defendant was on his way from Faleolo. “Your Honor, we have been advised by the Faleolo police that the defendant is on route from Faleolo at the moment,” said Ms. Sio.
“We are asking if this matter can be stood down to 12noon today (Wednesday) to wait for the defendant to arrive.”
Justice Tuatagaloa granted the request to delay the matter for an hour.
“I have a commitment at 12 noon but I will have it called before me at 11 o’clock so one hour,” she said.
The defendant did not arrive at all and the matter has been rescheduled for today.
An official who spoke to the Samoa Observer on the condition of anonymity said the Faleolo police did not summoned the defendant.
“There was no proof of a summon,” said the source.
“Despite the many follow-ups by the prosecution of where about they are.
“They have been sent a letter from the prosecution ages ago to summon the defendant but come the day for the defendant to appear and yet he is not here due to the laziness of the police officers to do their job.”
The source went on to say that this is not the first time this has happened.
“This happens so many times which is very unprofessional,” said the source.
“This is why the court orders a warrant of arrest against the defendants for their non-appearance and yet it’s not the defendant’s fault it is the police officers.
“They are not doing what they are supposed to do.”
Justice Tuatagaloa adjourned the matter to Friday 29th September for the defendant to appear for mention.
Attempt to get a comment from Superintendent Tagaloa Tipasa Matamu who is in-charge of Faleolo Police Office was unsuccessful.
Police officer who answered the call said he Tagaloa came in the morning to town for a meeting and hadn’t returned.