Internet failure delays court
A long list of criminal mentions scheduled for Monday morning was adjourned after a video link failed, preventing defendants in custody at Tanumalala Prison from making court appearances.
Some 70 cases were scheduled before Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Daryl M. Clarke but he moved most of the mentions to Tuesday because the video link technology did not work.
After calling a few cases, Justice Leiataualesa took a short adjournment so he could speak with Information Technology (I.T.) personnel about the video link.
“We have some I.T. problems. I’m just going to speak to the staff of the Ministry about what is the problem and how long that will take so that I can soon advise counsel so counsel does not need to wait unnecessarily. We’ll just take a short adjournment,” he said.
After the adjournment, however, the video link was still not operational.
“I have been informed by the Ministry that there is a problem with Vodafone and some work they may be carrying out. There is no scheduling as to when we can expect that link to resume today,” Justice Leiataualesa said
He decided to stand down the mentions until Tuesday.
“I’m proposing that all [people on remand] in custody be further adjourned to 10 a.m. tomorrow to be re-called,” said Justice Leiataualesa.
No attorneys opposed the Judge's proposed rescheduling.
“In respect to all remands in custody scheduled for 10am tomorrow due to unavoidable circumstances beyond this court’s control, those matters will be further adjourned and be re-called at 10am tomorrow,” he said.
Among those on Monday's list were the country’s first-ever political assassin, Alatise Leafa Vitale, and his co-defendant Fagatua Niupou, who have been charged with theft as a servant.
It is alleged Vitale stole more than $10,000 worth of beer from a beverage distributor in Savai'i