Lawyers called to chambers, hearing set for tomorrow

By Pai Mulitalo Ale 18 October 2016, 12:00AM

Supreme Court will hear a motion to quash the charges against the suspended Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil tomorrow.

The decision was made in the Supreme Court yesterday by Justice Lesatele Rapi Va’ai.

When the matter was called, the lawyers were asked to meet in chambers.

Leone Su’a-Mailo was present for the National Prosecution Office (N.P.O) while Komisi Koria and Leinafo Taimalelagi appeared on behalf of the accused. 

When they returned, families, friends and the media in the public gallery was informed that the matter had been adjourned until tomorrow. 

No reasons were given for the latest adjournment.

Fuiavailili is facing charges including unlawful detaining of a person, disorderly conduct in a public place, perjury and making a false statement in relation to the wrongful arrest of a member of the public last year. 

Last month, Mr. Koria sought to quash the charges against his client, questioning the legitimacy of the charges. He told the Court they don’t understand the nature of the allegations against his client and the charges therefore should be dropped.

 “Given the poor state of the file that has been provided to us, and the obvious lack of evidence behind the way that charges have been filed, it is in our application that the police charges need to be quashed in Court to avoid further prejudice of evidence,” said Mr. Koria. 

The lawyer based his argument on the documents provided to his office by the National Prosecution Office (N.P.O), which filed the charges. 

Mr. Koria drew the Court’s attention to the charges of perjury and making a false statement to the Ombudsman. 

“The charges that we have been served do not particularise what the statement is that my client is alleged to have made knowing that statement is false,” he said.

“You cannot charge a person with an offence of perjury and not particularise what the statement is that he has allegedly made.” 

Mr. Koria said he had asked the N.P.O on several occasions to provide him with the details of the statement so he can understand the nature of the charges against Fuiavailiili. 

However, Mr. Koria was told that he needed to make a proper application before the Court to be given that information. 

“It is the Constitutional right for my client to be given all the information in relation to the charges to understand the nature of all the information against him,” Mr. Koria said. 

Tomorrow’s hearing is due to a request from Mr. Koria for his application to be heard earlier given the urgency of the matter.

His Honor Chief Justice Patu Tiava’asu’e Sapolu had indicated that the next available date would be January 2017. However, Mr. Koria asked for an earlier date saying that the hearing would only take about an hour.

By Pai Mulitalo Ale 18 October 2016, 12:00AM

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