Hearing continues as court accepts police raid was lawful
The hearing for Ferrari Posala in relation to the possession of narcotics continues after a motion to quash information by the defense was not accepted by the court earlier this week.
This matter was brought before Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren, Ofisa Tagaloa appeared for the National Prosecution Office and Leota Raymond Schuster represents the accused Mr Posala.
Justice Tafaoimalo accepted that the search was legal and was also lawful under section 14A of the Narcotics Act 1967. Leota argued that the police raid was illegal and unlawful when they searched his client’s flat in August last year. Not only that but his client was not properly informed by the police and they did not have a search warrant to search his place.
Police called two witnesses to prove to the court that the search was legal and was also lawful.
However in the evidence of Inspector Leiataua Luatimu Samau he clarified that he informed the accused about the search.
Leiataua said that under the Narcotics Act 1967 any constable has the power to search without a warrant if he or she has reasonable ground to believe that there is in or on a building, aircraft, ship, carriage, vehicle, premises or place a narcotics or controlled precursor for which an offence has been committed.
He said this particular case they did not have time to apply for a search warrant and because they have reasonable grounds that the accused was in possession of drugs.
And during that morning, Leiataua said he was the leading officer in the raid and he introduced himself to the accused and informed him about this power of search without a warrant.
According to Mr Tagaloa’s submission he confirmed to the court that there is section 14A under the Narcotics Act 1967 that police have that power to enter and search any place where they have reasonable grounds for believing that a person is in possession of narcotics.
Ferrari Posala is facing five charges in relation to narcotics. The accused was arrested together with four others during a police raid early Saturday morning 22 August 2015 at their rental place.
One of the accused pleaded guilty to the charge and he has already been sentenced to prison for 12 months while charges against the others have been dropped.