Police in out of court settlement

A $1 million tala lawsuit against the Ministry of Police has been settled but the financial details of the settlement remain unclear. 

The complainant Suitupe Misa 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. 

Appearing before Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson, the complainant was represented by Seuamuli Sarona Ponifasio with Sefo Ainu’u acting for the Attorney General’s Office. 

The hearing is scheduled to run for three days. But on the second day, the Court was informed that the respondents are waiting for instructions from the Attorney General, who was getting instructions from the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also the Minister of Police. 

The matter was then rescheduled to proceed with the hearing on Thursday. However, Justice Vui was informed that the matter has been settled between the parties and the Attorney General’s Office is now awaiting approval from Cabinet on the amount of settlement.  

During the hearing Misa was the first witness to take the stand, with Ainu’u asking him on 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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