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No charges for baby dumping suspect

There will be no charges laid against a Samoan woman who is alleged to have dumped her baby in a trash bin on a study tour in Malaysia because Police say the matter is beyond their jurisdiction. 

The woman, aged 33, was escorted back to Samoa earlier this month after being detained by Police in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur for four days. 

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, had said earlier this month that the woman was expected to face charges in Samoa following negotiations with the Malaysian Government. 

But on Friday, Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil, said because the alleged offending occurred outside of Samoa it lies beyond the jurisdiction of Samoan Police. 

“We do not have the authority to investigate or prosecute,” Fuiavailiili said. 

“No charges [will be laid against the woman] and it cannot be laid in this country.”

The Commissioner said he did not have knowledge of any agreement between the Governments of Samoa and Malaysia that would have facilitated the woman's return to Samoa to face charges here. 

“I don’t know about any agreement – I don’t know the background [to that],” he responded. 

Tuilaepa had told the media earlier this month that negotiations with the Malaysian Government had produced an agreement for the woman to be returned home to face charges. 

“She can be charged in Malaysia, but this is where the Government comes in, to have its own people face charges in their own country,” he said. 

Tuilaepa said there was a preference for Samoa to have citizens face charges in their own country. 

Questions to the Prime Minister's office were not immediately returned on Friday night; Tuilaepa is travelling this week. 

When the incident first surfaced a senior Police Officer at the Dang Wangi District Police, Chief Mohd Fahmi Visunathan Abdullah, said the woman was treated at Kuala Lumpur hospital while the newborn baby was sent for post-mortem. 

The woman had joined a group to the National Monument and stayed inside the toilet for more than an hour. 

Police Chief Abdullah said the case was being investigated under a section of the Malaysian penal code that deals with the concealment of birth by secret disposal. The Act states that whoever secretly buries or otherwise dispose dead body of a child can face a punishment of up to two years, a fine or both. 

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