9 Jul 2008

Former police officer posts bail in Samoa embezzlement case

10:13 am on 9 July 2008

A former police captain accused of smuggling guns to Samoa was taken into custody after his initial appearance in District Court yesterday afternoon.

Papalii Marion Fitisemanu was able to post bail of $20,000 before the end of the day.

The government represented by Deputy Attorney General Frederick O'Brien did not consider the 25 year police veteran a flight risk, and was agreeable to having Fitisemanu released on his own recognizance.

Mr O'Brien told the court that Fitisemanu had returned to the territory on his own, at his own expense and the government was confident that he did not pose a danger to the community.

District Court Judge John Ward said despite the government's position the court has strict guidelines regarding bail for a felony and requires that some bail be posted.

Judge Ward set bail for Fitisemanu at $20,000.

Fitisemanu is charged with five counts of embezzlement and unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon.

The government alleges that he removed five weapons form the DPS evidence room, four of which he sent to Samoa, and one he kept at his house.