Defendants arrested in a police drug raid enter not guilty pleas

By Staff Reporters

APIA, SAMOA: TUESDAY 11 AUGUST 2015:  The  three defendants arrested during a  police drug raid two  weeks ago have entered not guilty pleas to the charges against them.

The defendants Stewart Webber,  Andrea Ah Chong and Parapet Kaer’s pleas were entered through their joint lawyer Rosela Papalii in Court today.

No charges were read out  during  mention as police are yet to finalize the charges.

Last week, police spokesperson Superintendent Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu told the media  that the only charges finalized then were that of drugs but additional and holding charges were yet to be finalized.

The defendants, 2 women and a man have been held in police custody since the raid.

Ms. Papalii filed an application for bail last week for the women defendants to which prosecution originally opposed to.

In Court today, prosecution  had no objection to bail as along as the defendants remain with  Eseta Ah Chong, mother of the defendant Andrea.

The other woman defendant is an  Indian citizen who resides in Samoa as a sponsored employee.

Chief Justice Patu Tiavaasue Falefatu Sapolu granted the application as long the defendants comply with the bail conditions.

Bail conditions include the defendants stay with Mrs Ah Chong and that they refrain from entering the place at Afiamalu where the drugs were found.

They are to sign in at the Apia police office twice a week until the day of the hearing on the 18 January 2016.

As for Mr. Webber, he remains under police custody until the  hearing in January.