Man Held in Custody for Double Murder of Father and Son Reapplies for Bail

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The Supreme Court side of the Mulinuu Courthouse.

4 October 2022 Mulinuu Courthouse, Apia Samoa. The man arrested and charged in June for the double murder of a father and his son over a land dispute in Fogapoa, Savaii, has this week resubmitted an application for bail in the Supreme Court of Samoa.

It is alleged that Aui’a Fereti Moefiti, also of Fogapoa, shot dead a father in his 60s and his 18 year old son in the outback plantation area of the village following a heated argument over land boundaries. A woman said to be the 18 year old’s wife was also injured in the cross fire.

Despite immediately turning himself in to Police at Tuasivi after the tragic incident, Aui’a had pleaded not guilty to all six charges filed against him including murder, attempted murder and the alternative lesser charges of grievous bodily harm.

In a Supreme Court decision handed down in August by Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa, the defendant was denied bail and ordered to remain in custody until his Court hearing scheduled for March 2023.

At the original bail hearing two months ago, Aui’as lawyer told the Court his client’s family had already paid a fine to the village, and performed a traditional ifoga apology to the victims’ family.

Police had said at the time of the incident, that Aui’a had turned himself in at the Tuasivi Police Outpost immediately after the incident, and Police were also in possession of the suspected murder weapon.

“O lea ua i lima o leoleo le laau malosi o loo masalomia i lenei faalavelave.”

In Court on Monday morning, Aui’a has again asked the Court through his lawyer, to release him on bail while awaiting the 2023 court date.

“O lea ua tuuina mai le talosaga a lau loia mo se avanoa e tatala ai oe i tua. Ae o le a toe valaau lau mataupu i le aso 17 e tuuina atu ai se faaiuga pe talia lau talosaga pe leai foi.”

The application was heard by Justice Fepuleai Amperosa Roma. Justice Fepuleai explained the process to the defendant and set the 17th of October for the decision to be delivered.