No more adjournments, Supreme Court says

The Supreme Court has advised parties in a $1 million tala lawsuit filed against the Ministry of Police that there will be no more adjournments.

Presiding Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson made the order on Monday when the matter — which was filed by plaintiff Suitupe Misa against the Police for unlawful arrest and detention — went before him.

The plaintiff is suing the Police for unlawful arrest and detention in relation to an incident in 2015, when he was arrested at gunpoint in public, by a contingent of armed police officers and detained. 

The plaintiff was represented by Seuamuli Sarona Ponifasio with Sefo Ainu’u acting for the Attorney General’s Office. 

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In a hearing earlier this month, the Court was informed by Ainu’u that the Government has agreed to make an out-of-court settlement. Consequently, when the matter resumed on Monday, Justice Vui asked Ainu’u whether the Government is ready to hand over a check to the plaintiff. 

But Ainu’u advised that they are yet to finalise the matter and subsequently asked for an adjournment. 

Justice Vui granted the application and added that it was the final adjournment in the matter, and ordered the Attorney General’s Office to file a settlement memorandum with the Court. The matter is returnable January 14, 2019. 

During the hearing Misa took the witness stand, with Ainu’u asking him for information from the Commissioner of Police Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, which alleged that a person by the name of “Suitupe” made death threats to the then Minister of Police, Commissioner of Police and other government officials. The allegations were the grounds for the Police to commence investigations.

But Misa, in response, said the Police should have investigated the matter properly before taking any action.  

“But that is not what they did, what they did to me, I don’t know how to explain what they did and how they did it and the way it was carried out was just not right—they should have investigated properly before taking any action,” he said.

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