Man accused of attempting to kill brother denied bail

A man accused of stabbing his younger brother in the back with a kitchen knife will be spending Christmas behind bars after being denied bail on Tuesday. 

Janu Junior Masoe, of Ma’agao and Nofoali'i, was told that his criminal history was the reason that his application for bail was denied by the court. 

With a hearing for the case scheduled for 2021, that means Masoe will be spending the holiday period at Tanumalala Prison.

He has pleaded not guilty for attempting to murder his younger brother in October. 

Prosecutor and Attorney General’s Office lawyer, Ann Matalasi told the court that the defendant has previous convictions for a similar offence, while opposing the defendant’s application for bail. 

Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke ruled that the defendant was to be denied bail and remanded in custody. 

Charlie Vaai, who is Masoe’s legal counsel, was not present in Court on Tuesday. 

His colleague, Ladesha Stevenson Papalii, appeared on behalf of Mr. Vaai. 

But Justice Clarke expressed his disappointment over Mr. Vaai’s absence for delaying the virtual court proceeding for Masoe, who had been detained at the Tanumalala facility until Tuesday afternoon. 

The Supreme Court Judge told Mrs. Papalii that it was not good enough that the lawyer for the defendant was not present during the matter. 

Justice Clarke added that lawyers should be present when proceedings for which they are a counsel are called and he said lawyers’ failure to appear was happening too often. 

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