Bail opposed for men accused over P.M. assassination plot

Two of three men accused of allegedly plotting to assassinate Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, have had their applications to be released on bail opposed by prosecutors.  

Malele Atofu Paulo - better known as King Faipopo-  and Lema’i Faioso Sione appeared in the Supreme Court on Monday for mention relating to charges of conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister. 

Their lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu, filed the bail application. 

But lead prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General, Magele Leone Su'a, opposed the application. 

She did not give grounds for opposing bail but had asked for a week's adjournment for Police to finalise charges. 

A third person charged for the same matter is currently remanded on bail where he is being closely monitored by the village council of Lauli’i. 

He did not appear in Court on Monday. 

Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke granted the adjournment and ordered the prosecution to file their motion of opposition by Friday this week. 

Defence counsel Unasa had asked the Court to consider an earlier date for the bail hearing. 

The men will reappear again on Monday next week for police to finalise charges. 

It has been two weeks since the men have been in custody.

They will remain behind bars until their next appearance, next week. 

Monday's mention did not proceed without controversy following a dispute about whether the children of one of the accused were allowed to attend proceedings.

Before Monday's mention began, Lema'i's children were asked by Police officers to leave the Court. 

A woman officer made an announcement in Court that children and people under the age of 17 were not allowed to sit in Court. 

However, the children did not leave and lawyer Unasa was heard saying that there is no law that prohibits children from sitting in Court. 

The children remained in the Court with their mother throughout the proceeding. 

Meanwhile, Police are continuing their investigation into the case. 

A recent statement issued by Police stated the investigation will be extended to other jurisdictions to determine whether overseas nationals were directly involved in the plot. 

A Samoan resident in Australia who was recently convicted in Samoa is believed to be involved in the alleged conspiracy. 

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