Three charged over torching of family home

Three men have been charged with arson in connection to a dispute in Taelefaga Fagaloa last week.

The dispute is alleged to have led to the burning of a family home. 

“Three men have been charged as a result and they are facing arson charges," said Police Commissioner, Fuiava Egon Keil.

They are scheduled to appear in Court next month.

The family home belongs to Fialele Semau Amataga who has since been banished from the village.

His wife passed away and the family wanted to bury her remains in front of her house, however some chiefs in the village opposed the plan.

The Commissioner also took the opportunity to appeal to members of the public not to take matters into their own hands in cases of disputes. He said they should carefully consider the consequences of any “criminal action.” 

“No one is above the law. If you need assistance please call the Police and don’t take matters into your own hands it will not end well for anyone that does that," he said. 

He urged the public to consider the ripple effect and the aftermath of a crime. 

“You’ll spend time in jail, but you’ll [also] end [up] repaying for the damaged properties and that could be avoided, if you take the high road go through the proper channel of things, such as taking the matter to Court, [or] calling the Police,” said Fuiavaili’ili. 

"Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation."

As previously reported, one of village's Chiefs told the Samoa Observer they are not allowed to speak on behalf of the village as per instructions from the elders of the Village Council. For fear of repercussions, the Chief opted not to reveal his identity. 

“We have been told to refer everything to the High Chief; but it is sad the incident has escalated to the level where a family home was [allegedly] set on fire and yet there wrong reports that it was a directive from the Village Council, when it’s not,"  said the Chief

“The residence was set on fire Thursday night and the Village Council met on Friday and concluded to allow the burial.

"To date the village is trying to find who burnt the family home to the ground and will be penalised by the village."

He said what has occurred goes against what the Taelefaga Viallage Council stands for and that is keeping the peace in the village.

“We are [a] relatively small village and we will find out soon enough who is behind the torching of this family home; once we find out the police will be informed,” he said.



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