Prisoners go back to the Supreme Court

Prisoners Tagaloasa Filipaina and Ovaleni Vaili have filed an application in the Supreme Court asking that they are moved back to Tafa’igata Prison.

The two convicted criminals are currently detained at the Central Police Station in Apia, which they say is unlawful. 

Appearing before Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren last Friday, Unasa Iuni Sapolu  asked for an adjournment of to March 7. 

“We are seeking an adjournment 7th of March as indicated in chambers, there is an exchange of documents, and applicants need to peruse and respond if needed to the respondents (Police) response,” she said. 

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According to the lawyer, the respondent has one more affidavit to submit and that it should be to the applicants. The Attorney General’s Office did not oppose the application.  

Justice Tafaoimalo granted the motion and ordered that Tagaloasa Filipaina and Ovaleni Vaili remain where they are pending the outcome of the proceedings. 

“Also make sure the witnesses that are to be crossed examine should be ready to give evidence,” the Justice added.  

The Supreme Court application is the two prisoner’s second attempt. In February last year, Tagaloasa and Poli were moved to the Central Police Station after a mass prison breakout plot at Tafa’igata was uncovered. 

Their lawyer at that time filed a similar application and asked for the two prisoners to be relocated to Tafaigata. However, the Court ruled that the police station isn’t a prison, unless declared so by the Minister of Prisons and Correction Services. 

The Minister, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, subsequently used his powers to make a declaration to that effect, thereby nullifying their first attempt.

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