Matai Charged with Double Murder Requests Not to be Released on Bail

O le tama ia Faalavaau Tai’i Vaotuua Auleoleo Neemia Pologa.

A matai in his late 60’s who had earlier pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder and two charges relating to possession of an illegal weapon decided not to go out on bail to await his trial.

Faalavaau Tai’i Vaotuua Auleoleo Neemia Pologa three weeks ago entered a not guilty plea through his lawyer Leinafo Taimalelagi.

During a bail hearing last Friday, the Court heard through the defendant’s lawyer that he did not want to go out on bail.

Faalavaau Taii Vaotuua allegedly used a low-calibre .22 millimetre handgun to shoot two men in Afega just after midnight of New Year’s Eve.

Defense counsel also told the Court her client was considering a change of plea.

High chiefs from Falelalati sit under a fine mat to ask forgiveness of Afega.

The elderly man holds at least three high chiefly titles. The Vaotuua title is from his wife’s family in Afega where he lived alone with his wife and children currently overseas. He also held the high chiefly titles of Faalavaau and Tai’i from Siufaga and Pata Falelatai respectively.

High chiefs including the Member of Parliament for Falelatai performed traditional apologies on behalf of the elderly matai, before the families of both men who lost their lives that night.

Marieta H Ilalio