Murder accused flees country after surrendering passport

A man, who is currently facing an attempted murder charge has fled the country, despite surrendering his travel documents to the Court. 

Junior Vai, of Vaitele, was due to appear in the Supreme Court this week but did not do so. 

Prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General, Magele Leone Su’a, said the accused had left the country. 

She said the accused was ordered to surrender his travel documents on 17 July the previous year and instructed to sign in with the Police station. 

Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke questioned how Mr. Vai had managed to leave the jurisdiction. 

He urged the prosecution to trace the accused's path out of Samoa, including whether he was issued with another passport. 

A warrant of arrest was then issued.

Justice Leiataualesa said the accused had breached his bail conditions by leaving the country. 

Mr. Vai’s attempted murder charge relates to an alleged incident at Vaitele on 9 June 2017 where the accused and the victim allegedly became entangled in an altercation.

The Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Chief Executive Officer, Agafili Shem Leo, was asked if the Immigration Department had received a Departure Prohibition Order for the accused. 

He was also asked if Immigration had issued another passport for Mr. Vai or any records of which country he had fled to. 

In response, Agafili acknowledged the queries and said he would check with the Immigration Department. 

A follow-up email to the C.E.O. did not receive a response by press time. 


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