Police gun trial begins
The trial of a suspended Police officer, Aiolupotea La’auli Talataina, is underway before District Court Judge Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma.
The matter is prosecuted by lawyer, Ofisa Tagaloa of the Attorney General’s Office while the accused is represented by Leiataualesa Komisi Koria.
Aiolupotea is facing 10 criminal charges, which he has pleaded not guilty to - including the discharging of a firearm.
Constable Lene Epa who is the complainant told the Court yesterday that on 01 January 2016, the Tactical Operational Unit held a training at Malololelei early morning.
There, La’auli was armed with a firearm. He was on the field when he saw La’auli aiming the firearm and discharging it towards where he was standing.
“I was scared so I walked up to where La’auli was standing and asked him why was he shooting towards where I was standing,” said Constable Lene.
“La’auli didn’t say anything he just smiled and then he started shooting at the birds.”
Constable Lene also told the Court of the incident involving Vaioleti Telesia.
“I remember this day. It was the 1st of January 2016, we came back from one of the incidents that we responded to on that day and we went straight to the Apia Headquarters and we went straight inside our office (T.O.S.)."
“It was I, Koko Kema and Junior Fereti that were in the T.O.S. office to wait for our leader to give instructions."
“Not long after we were in the office, La’auli walked in with a bag that had the gun inside."
“He opened the bag and brought out the gun and he cocked the gun and then all of sudden Vaileti Telesia opened the door."
“La’auli then walked towards Vaioleti and he pointed the gun at Vaioleti’s head and asked what she wants. He asked her if she wanted him to shoot her."
“Inspector Koko Kema then told La’auli not to do such thing and La’auli responded that he was just playing."
“Then Inspector Koko Kema told La’auli not play around with the gun and that’s when he turned around put the gun in the bag and walked out.”
During cross-examination Leiataualesa asked Constable Lene about his dismissal from the Police over making false reports.
“Isn’t it true if I say that what you are saying in the court as well as your statement are all lies?"
“Isn’t it true that you made all these allegations against La’auli because you are still holding a grudge against him because he is the reason for your dismissal?"
“Because it was while you have already been dismissed from the police that you came and filed a complaint against La’auli.”
The lawyer refuted the incident in the office.
“According to La’auli he took out the gun because he was cleaning it and that’s when one of yous asked him about a flash light that was attached to the gun."
“La’auli said he was showing you guys the flash light and when he went to point the flash light attached to the gun towards the Fire Station to see how strong the flash is that’s when Vaioleti walked up to where he was pointing the flash light.”
But Constable Lene disagreed.
“His action was deliberate,” he said.
“He broke the law and for any police officer we took an oath to uphold the law and if we break the law we have to pay the price."
“La’auli broke the law and so he has to pay the price and I had to report the matter because if not then he would think that it’s okay to play around with guns."
“So I’m not lying and I did not make these allegations up.”
The hearing continues.