Prisoner Aniseko Vaelei denied legal aid and faces 16 charges


1 April, 2019 Apia Samoa. Aniseko Vaelei who escaped from Tafaigata last year appeared before the Supreme Court facing 16 charges including escaping from prison, burglary and theft.

The prisoner was denied legal aid and through the Court registrar, pleaded guilty to 8 of the 16 charges against him while denying the other 8 charges.

Aniseko Vaelei escaped prison with notorious criminal Pati Chong Nee on Sunday 20th January and was captured by police a month later following a home invasion robbery of the One-On-One shop at Vailoa.

Shop owner Ming Sheng Teng told Samoa Global news at the time that now lived in fear for their safety after two escaped prisoners armed with machetes broke into their store and stole $60,000 tala.

Pati Chong Nee is today still on the run suspected to have taken up to $50,000 tala while Samoa Police confirm that $10,000 was recovered from Aniseko when he was captured.

Chief Justice Patu Tiavasue Sapolu told Vaelei in Court yesterday morning that his application for legal aid was denied.

“O lea ua logo mai le faamasinoga ua teena lau talosaga mo se loia e totogi e le malo e tulai mo oe.”

Vaelei then told the Court that he is ready to enter a plea on all charges against him.

Chief Justice Patu stood the matter down and told Vaelei that he would be granted time to liaise with the Registrar given the many charges against him.

“Ona o lea e maitau atu e fai si tele o moliaga ia e faasaga ia te oe, o le mea lea a mae’a ona lua feutagai lea ma le resitara ma faailoa iai lau tali o moliaga uma, ona toe valaauina ai lea o lau mataupu pe a mae’a le lisi.”

Vaelei will face a court hearing unrepresented on the 16 charges against him later next month.