Police and Attorney General sued for wrongful charge

APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 20 AUGUST 2018: The Ministry of Police, the Office of the Attorney General and three police officers have been sued for $900,000 for wrongful arrest of a woman last year.

The claimant is Katerina Maria Lesatele and the police officers are Pere Isopo, Susirita Tufuga and Hanania Lene

The lawsuit revolves around Katerina’s arrest in April 2017 on suspicions that she was connected to the blog O Le Palemia (OLP).

She was detained first at the police headquarters in Apia for a day and when she was released, the police requested to further detain her until their investigation was completed and Katerina was at Tafa’igata prison for 5 days.

She said that the Police had been after her since 2015 claiming that she knew who OLP was, but it was not until April last year when a church minister filed a complaint on what was posted on OLP that the police arrested her.

She said the police wanted her to tell them who OLP was and where he could be found, and she denied any knowledge of it.

Katerina claims that she was one of the first people to comment on the OLP blog when it first came out, “sometimes defending the Government and sometimes posting funny comments to tease OLP.”

Last year, police filed two charges against her but were later dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Katerina then filed a lawsuit against the parties involved claiming damages of $900,000 talā.

Katerina is represented by lawyer Mauga Precious Chang and the matter has been adjourned to 27 August 2018 for the Respondents to respond to Katerina’s statement of claim.