Court orders Attorney General to review prisoner’s parole privilege


The old wing of the Tafa’igata prison

By Rula Su’a – Va’ai

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 06 JUNE 2018: Supreme Court Judge, Mata Keli Tuatagaloa has ordered the Attorney General’s Office to look into why the Samoa Prisons and Corrections Facility authorised special leave release for one of the prisoners who has committed a series of crimes since he was 16 years old.

Peika Pesa, 38 years old, appeared before Justice Mata Tuatagaloa today on his latest offence – possession of marijuana, which he plead not guilty to.

Pesa’s criminal record included escaping from prison, burglary and theft, aggravated robbery, unlawful entry, actual bodily harm, wilful damage, armed and resisting police, possession of marijuana, uttering insulting words and actual bodily harm, and was first convicted when he was 16 years old.

Justice Mata Tuatagaloa questioned the basis of the Samoa Prisons and Corrections Facility used in granting Peika Pesa special leave release 26 December 2017.

38 year old Peika Pesa who has been in prison since he was 16

Her main concern was the safety and security of the public from a prisoner who has a “thick” list of crimes he committed.

“I am concerned about the safety of the public from people like you, who love to commit crimes, and yet the management at Tafa’igata authorised a dangerous person like you to go on special leave.”

While he was on special leave, Pesa was caught with 53.4 grams of loose marijuana leaves, 6.7 grams of marijuana wrapped cigarettes and 2,105 marijuana seeds that weigh 86.4 grams.

Prosecutor Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa told the court that she will look into the reasons why the prisoner was granted special leave.

“I will look into the reasons why the authority had been issued and also to review which part of the law that allowed Pesa to go on special leave,” said Atoa.

“Personally he should not have been released on special leave.”

Atoa added that with all his sentences combined, Pesa should be released from prison in 2029.

The 38 year old will reappear in court on Monday next week to set a hearing date of his latest drug related charges.

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