16 May 2019

Evidence in Samoan attempted murder case heard behind closed door

3:51 pm on 16 May 2019

A Supreme Court judge in Samoa has ordered a closed door hearing of evidence in an attempted murder trial, after the prosecution applied to ban the media and public.

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept, court

Photo: ikiryo/123RF

The evidence by the victim who was evacuated to New Zealand in January for medical treatment for serious facial injuries suffered from a gunshot, was conducted via video link.

Local media started covering the trial on Tuesday but they are in the dark on the grounds of the closed door application.

The senior prosecutor lawyer did not provide the court with the reason.

However, Justice Tafaoimalo Tuala Warren accepted the application under the section of the Criminal Procedure Act relating to powers of the court to issue suppression orders.

The defendant Peter Tulaga, a prominent farmer, is facing four charges including attempted murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a weapon and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The victim and the defendant were in a defacto relationship at the time of the incident.

The verdict is expected to be delivered on Friday.