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Prison breakout plotters yet to be charged


A Tafaigata prison guard checking visitors at the prison gate

By Rula Su’a – Vaai

APIA, SAMOA TUESDAY 06 MARCH 2018: Police are still holding two prisoners in relation to an alleged prison break on the night te country was hit by Cyclone Gita early last month.

The prisoners are Tagaloasa Filipaina Brown and Ovaleni Poli who have been kept in the police holding cells in Apia for four weeks as investigations continue.

Police spokesman Auapa’au Logoitino says the police have yet to lay charges. “We are still investigating,” he told Talamua.

The lawyer representing the pair, Pa’u Mulitalo, appeared before His Honour Chief Justice Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu yesterday and requested the court to transfer his clients from the Apia Station back to the Tafa’igata Prison.

However Police lawyer Fa’alau Lagaaia asked the court for a one week adjournment. The application is in relation receiving a memorandum sent to the Chief Justice which they have not had the chance to view it and for the respondents to receive instructions from the Ministry of Police and Prisons.

The Chief Justice granted the application setting the adjournment date to Monday 12 March at 2pm for the respondents to file their response.

Lawyer Pa’u Mulitalo then argued for an interim arrangement for his clients while waiting for the adjournment, but was declined.

Police were alerted by the office of Prisons and Corrections about an alleged plot for a mass prison break as the country was being lashed by Cyclone Gita.

90 Police officers were immediately sent to Tafa’igata prison and three prisoners were arrested.

Auapa’au confirmed there were no firearms found except for marijuana and cash found in one of the prisoner’s cell.

Prisoners Tagaloasa and Ovaleni are still being held at the police station in Apia.

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