Worker's mother: my son is no killer

The mother of a seasonal worker who left the country for work in Australia despite facing an attempted murder charge says her son is no killer. 

Junior Vai, whose birth name is Junior Vaituutuu Timu, of Vaitele and Aleisa left the country in October last year to participate in the seasonal workers' scheme.

His contract in a meat processing company in Australia is for three years. 

The Immigration Department did not receive a Departure Prohibition Order to prohibit him from leaving the country. 

Mr. Timu is accused of the attempted murder of another man from Vaitele in an incident that dates back to 2017 in the same village.  

However, his mother Lesi Timu says her son did not use an alias to leave the country and had gone through the proper process of obtaining his passport. 

She maintains that the alleged victim of her son’s offending did not die. 

“My son did not kill anyone and is not a murderer,” says the mother. 

She alleges that the man involved in her son’s offending had allegedly beaten her son up with a hammer at Vaitele during a game of billiards. 

“My son was hospitalised for days and sustained serious injuries,” Mrs. Timu claims. 

“I know my son was drunk and the man who is our neighbour wasn’t and he should not have treated Junior that way.”

According to the mother once her son was discharged from the hospital in 2017 he was still angry at the man that she claimed had beaten him up. 

She added that this is the reason why her son allegedly poured hot water on the man. 

Mrs. Timu says since the incident she had thought it was dropped from the Court and has been dealt with. 

“It was in 2017 and my son had appeared in Court in 2018 but after that year we never heard back [from Police] and we thought it had been dealt with,” she says. 

“My son went through the proper process of applying for her passport when her application in the seasonal work was approved. 

“He did not use another person’s identity to leave the country, he used his legitimate birth certificate and all those documents including the Police clearance form. 

“The passport he used to leave the country is his first travel document ever being issued.” 

The mother says she was disappointed to find out that the matter has surfaced again when the Samoa Observer published an article about her son being wanted for his Court case.

The seasonal worker left the country in October last year and was issued a passport in September 2019 to allow him to leave for the temporary work in Australia. 

Mrs. Timu says her son has been very helpful to their family financially and is a devoted Christian. 

She adds that the accused’s first pay was used to buy a bible gifted to the church with an envelope of more than $1000 as his donation to the church. 

The accused’s matter surfaced in Court last month when Mr. Timu’s name was called in the Supreme Court.

He failed to appear in the Court. 

Supreme Court Judge, Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke had questioned prosecution as to how the accused managed to leave the country when they claimed he had his travel documents surrendered. 

The Court then issued a warrant of arrest for the accused and urged prosecution to find out how the accused managed to leave the country if he had surrendered his travel documents. 

Follow-up queries sent to the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L.) Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.), Pulotu Lydon Chu Ling about the matter were not answered by press time. 

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