5 Jun 2020

Samoa Police Commissioner pressed about defendants

6:34 am on 5 June 2020

Samoa Supreme Court judges have issued a strong warning for the police and prisons services to bring to court several people being kept in prolonged custody.

Samoa Police Chief Fuiavailili Egon Keil

Samoa Police Chief Fuiavailili Egon Keil Photo: RNZ Pacific/Monica Miller

A senior court officer says the police commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, may face a contempt of court charge if he continues to defy the orders made on Tuesday.

Acting Chief Justice Vui Clarence Nelson told a senior prosecution lawyer that if by today the defendant in a particular case does not appear, he would move to the next step.

According to sources in the Ministry of Justice, the commissioner has insisted for the court to notify the police three days ahead of any decision to bring the prisoners to appear before court.

Samoa police constable pleads guilty to assault

A police officer in Samoa has entered through his lawyer a guilty plea to two counts of assault when he appeared yesterday in the district court.

The suspended officer, Silivelio Luifaitaua, was charged following an off duty incident that took place in his village sometime in April.

Samoa's Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, in an earlier media report described the defendant as a strong officer who represented the police local and international forums well.

The officer will be sentenced on 3 July.

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