Four Youth Facing Murder Charges Denied Bail

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The Supreme Court of Samoa has denied bail for four young men in custody for the invasion robbery at the Pacific Trade Industrial company during White Sunday weekend last year.

Four youth from Vaigaga and Vaiusu face murder charges for the death of Mr. Cao Yaqing during the alleged home-business invasion attack.

Gogosina Leilua, Mikaele Leilua, Tafi Samuelu and Kome Sioeli have been remanded in custody since they were arrested and charged in October 2019.

The incident ignited concerns from the community on issues facing the development of our youth.

Members of Parliament for the Faleata district highlighted issues of unemployment, lack of education and poor upbringing as contributing factors to the behaviour of the youth involved.

MP for Faleata i Sisifo Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi at the time said that a breakdown of foundational cultural principles, and a culmination of social problems has led to our youth getting involved in these types of horrific crimes.

Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, Associate Minister MCIT and MP for Faleata

“Youth are not going to school, they are no longer attending church regularly, they’re not being brought up in good home environments; they walk around idle and jobless;

“So it’s unemployment, lack of education, bad upbringing and being out of touch with the foundations of church and culture,” added the Minister of Communication and Information Technology.

Member of Parliament for Urban West, Faumuina Leatinuu Wayne Fong had also stepped forward at the time to offer an apology to the families of the Chinese nationals affected and repudiated allegations that the incident was a racial hate crime.

Member of Parliament for Urban West, Faumuina Leatinuu Wayne Fong

“My deepest condolences and apologies to the Chinese Community in Samoa especially the family of Mr Cao Yaqunh and the Pacific Trade Industrial employees who were injured;

“I don’t believe that this is a hate crime, we don’t hate Chinese;

“They have helped our economy tremendously and I know of many Samoan who love and respect our friends from China, many of them now married to Samoan nationals.”

The four men charged will appear again in Court on Tuesday 21st January where a hearing date will be set.

The Pacific Trade Industrial compound in Vaitele

 


Sina Retzlaff