2 Mar 2015

Samoa court can't hear case of man imprisoned with child

4:15 pm on 2 March 2015

A lawyer in Samoa has criticised the court system after another adjournment in the case against a man who was imprisoned by police with his three-year-old son.

Leulua'ialii Olinda Woodroffe with the three-year-old child outside court in Samoa. The child was locked in a police cell when his father was arrested last year.

Leulua'ialii Olinda Woodroffe with the three-year-old child outside court. Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Leulua'ialii Olinda Woodroffe, who is the accused man's lawyer, says the case is complicated and has faced harmful delays.

The imprisonment of the child earlier resulted in the suspension of three police officers, and at the local court hearing, Leulua'ialii made further accusations against the police, including driving an unlicensed vehicle.

Leulua'ialii says the trial was transferred to the district court.

"I'm very disappointed with the court system. They should have had the wisdom and knowledge that the case was a complicated case, it had long term implications to our country and yet they put it to the lowest level of the court. It's a different jurisdiction. It didn't have the capacity to deal with the issues."

Leulua'ialii has asked for the proceedings to be recorded, so it can be used in a civil case against the police for imprisoning the child.