Suspended police officer alleges evidence was disposed as instructed

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA: WEDNESDAY 24 JUNE 2015: Counsels for the three suspended police officers will have to come to an agreement over information of the events that led to the suspension of the officers.

Chief Justice Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu noted the argument by one of the defendants who is disputing part of the summary of facts and adjourned the matter for the last time to July 2015.

Counsels were told to come to an agreement either an amended summary of facts or a hearing, said His Honour.

All three defendants have entered pleas to the offence of tampering with police evidence and were scheduled for sentencing early this week.

However, the disputed argument has resulted in the adjournment to next week.

The case revolves around an incident where the defendants, Senior Sergeant Atonio Tausili, Constable Heta Wilson and Corporal Luisa Lotolau were all accused of tampering with evidence for which they are all charged with.

The disputed information relates to where the marijuana joint was found.

Two of the defendants were part of the team that investigated a narcotics case and marijuana confiscated from the crime scene was brought to the police outpost at Faleata.

However, it was alleged that the matter was later settled and the Senior Sergeant told one of the defendants to ensure that the evidence must not reach the next level.

The female defendant then instructed the other female officer to dispose of the evidence.

According to counsel Niumata, who represents one of the defendants, the evidence was disposed of as instructed.

The matter will be called again on the 6th July 2015.