Student pleads guilty to posting threats on social media

Police checking students bags at the bus terminal for weapons during the height of the school fights

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA: TUESDAY 24 MAY 2016:  Avele college student Setefano Taofia Toala has pleaded guilty to 4 charges of posting threats on social media, the face book, and has been sent back to prison to await the hearing of more charges against him in July 2016.

Setefano also faces 5 other charges relating to school fights to which he pleaded not guilty to. These charges will be called together with 4 other Avele students who were released on bail today.

The National Prosecution office (NPO) applied to the court not to grant bail to Setefano due to the seriousness of the offences against him.

NPO representative Iliganoa Atoa said Setefano posed a high risk to society and should remain in custody until July when his other charges are recalled for hearing. Iliganoa said Setefano was the mastermind of the troubles with another school.

Judge Vaepule Vaemoa Va’ai granted NPO’s application and sent Setefano back to prison.

Four other students, who were placed under police custody last week, have been released on bail to await their hearing in July.

Their bail conditions include signing at the police main office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They have also been given a curfew not to leave home from 9.00pm to 6.00am.

They all pleaded not guilty to 9 charges through their joint lawyer Semi Leung Wai. The offenders are Jason Vitale, Sharmma Peato, Peter Taua’ana and Metai Fono.

The students were amongst the 26 Avele students who were arrested during the fights with other students 3 weeks ago resulting in the temporary closure of Avele College 2 weeks ago.

From the 26 arrested, 5 have been referred to the Youth Court while others cases have been scheduled for remention on the next mention date.