25 July 2023, Apia Samoa, Translated from FaaSamoa. A man from Afega appeared before the Supreme Court of Samoa on Monday morning, charged with the attempted murder of his first cousin who lies recovering at Motootua National Hospital from amputations to his arm and leg.
Enesi Ili, 26, appeared unrepresented before Justice Ameperosa Roma during criminal mentions on Monday morning.
When asked if he wanted a lawyer, the young man told the Court that his family could not afford one. “E lima vaivai le matou aiga.”
Justice Fepuleai reminded the accused that according to the Police summary of facts, the charges against him are very serious, including attempted murder.
A woman raised her hand in Court, and Justice Fepuleai granted her permission to be heard.
“My name is Rebekah and I am the mother of the accused,” she said. “My sister’s son is the one affected.”
The defendant’s mother told the Court the families had conducted a traditional ifoga and gone through the process of forgiveness within the Samoan cultural context.
Justice Roma asked if one of the victim’s parents was present in Court, and Rebekah answered, yes, “His father, my sister’s husband is here.”
The victim’s father stood in Court and denied his sister-in-law’s request to allow bail to his nephew, stating that he has many sons, and feared they would still be wanting to revenge their brother’s injuries.
“Your honor, my name is Fata Viane, and I ask you to please, do not release Enesi..
“It is too soon because this only just happened last week.. I have many sons and something else might happen..”
“My son is at Motootua National Hospital, and he has lost an arm and a leg,” said Fata.
Justice Roma adjourned the matter for two weeks, directing the accused to apply for Counsel through legal aid.
“This time will give you the chance to apply for a lawyer to be allocated to you through the government-funded legal aid programme.”