Convicted murderer back in jail after breaching parole condition

The man who was convicted for the murder of a former Cabinet Minister, Alatise Leafa Vitale, is back behind bars at the new prison at Tanumalala.

He has been recalled to serve his life imprisonment sentence after breaching his parole terms and conditions. 

Vitale was convicted and sentenced to death in 1999 for the assassination of former Cabinet Minister, the late Luagalau Levaula Kamu. 

He was granted bail in 2010 after he was pardoned by the Head of State and had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment after serving 11 years for the death of Luagalau. 

The Parole Board delivered the decision to recall Vitale last Friday.

Ministry of Justice Courts and Administration (M.J.C.A.) Assistant Chief Executive Officer for Corrections, Enforcement and Maintenance, Fa’agutu Samuelu Va’alotu confirmed the decision of the Parole Board. 

This followed a hearing on Wednesday last week before the Parole Board which was closed to the media. 

Acting M.J.C.A. C.E.O., Leota Pelenato Paulo was not immediately available for a comment when contacted.

Ms. Va’alotu said the decision from the Parole Board was based on Vitale’s non-compliance and violation of parole conditions. 

These conditions include consumption of alcohol, association with ex-convicts and making verbal threat on social media. 

Vitale had also failed to inform the Probation Office to obtain consent to leave the island of Savai’i, where he was based in Salelologa and  travelled to Apia. 

“We were not aware of him leaving Savai’i and were only made aware in a video posted on social media,” said the A.C.E.O. 

“Parole is a privilege not a right. But if you fail to comply with parole conditions you can be recalled to serve an unexpired prison term.” 

The A.C.E.O. added that Vitale is still eligible to apply for parole after a 12 month probation. 

Vitale is not the first person that has been recalled by the Parole Board. 

Phone calls made to Vitale’s lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu was not answered yesterday.   

Notorious criminal Tagaloasa Filipaina Faasauvale was another prisoner that had to be recalled after breaching parole conditions. 

According to the Prisons Parole Board Act 1977, section 14, Recall of offender released on parole, the Board may at any time while an offender released by the Board is on parole direct that the offender be recalled. 

“On the giving of the direction, the parole is taken to be cancelled, and the offender may be arrested without warrant by any constable, and shall continue to serve his or her sentence unless he or she is again released on the recommendation of the Board under this Part or under any remission of part of his or her sentence as the case may be,” states the Act. 

Vitale was arrested two months ago in Savai’i and has been detained since. 

One of the videos, which was posted by Malele Paulo also known as King Faipopo in Salelologa Savai’i, showed Vitale hanging out with a group of men. 

In the video Vitale and other men including Paulo had challenged Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi to bring it on one more time. 

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