Justice C.E.O. warns of increased drug presence
“The possession of narcotics namely methamphetamine or ice, have a strong presence in Samoa. It is evident with the increase of meth cases being prosecuted with the Judiciary system.”
This is according to the Ministry of Justice, Chief Executive Officer Papali’i Afele J.P. Taimalelagi in an interview with the Samoa Observer.
The C.E.O. praised the Ministry of Police for their dedication to eradicating the presence of drugs in the country.
“The increase of prosecuted drugs cases is a result of drug raids conducted under the leadership of Commissioner of Police, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil.”
According to Papali’i, in 2016, a total of 14 drug cases came before the court. Yet in 2017 between January and March the number of cases have spiralled up to 62.
Papali’i also commended the initiative by the Chief Justice, his Honour Patu Falefatu Sapolu and the Judiciary for establishing the Alcohol and Drugs Court in 2015.
“The programmes in terms of rehabilitation and therapeutic courses offered for drug and alcohol offenders are a positive move in the right direction.
“According to our data, between January and March 2017, there are 38 % of cases involving alcohol while 46% of marijuana cases.”
Papali’i further acknowledged that in February, 2016 Supreme Court Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa led the initiative behind the Drugs and Alcohol Dependency Programme.
“This focuses on the individuals who are placed on probation following their conviction surrounding drugs and alcohol.
“It’s refreshing to see positive results which have reduced the re-offending by members of the public.
“This programme has two phases. There is “Toe Afua Se Taeao Fou” which is for seven weeks and then there is “E Tu Manu Ae Le Tu Logologo” which is actually 12 weeks,” said Papali’i.
“If an offender successfully completes these programmes without re-offending, they are placed on probation and they do not require to serve any jail time,” he said.