Youths Involved In Facebook Assault Released to Await Court Proceedings

"Justice Roma released the three young men on bail, on condition they reside at Leufisa, sign in at the police station once a week and ensure they do not reoffend"

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Translated from FaaSamoa by Nicole Palamo-Wilson.  Three young men remanded in custody following the assault of a youth from Laulii that was filmed and went viral on social media were yesterday released to await Court proceedings.

Asomaliu Asomaliu, Peniamina Lisona and Tuafale Faafetai appeared before Justice Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma in the Supreme Court of Samoa during criminal mentions on Monday  morning charged with assault, grievous bodily harm and robbery relating to the assault that took place infront of the LDS church at Motootua earlier this month.

Justice Roma released the three young men on bail, on condition they reside at Leufisa, sign in at the police station once a week and ensure they do not reoffend.

Peniamina and Tuafale were represented in Court by Ms Cata Seuli who told the Court she needed more time to consult with her clients. Asomaliu was unrepresented in Court and told Justice Fepuleai he had put in an application seeking Counsel through the Government’s Legal Aid Program.

It was established in Court that Asomaliu was the only defendant with a previous conviction. “So this is not new to you?” asked Justice Roma.

“E le fou la ia oe lou tula’i i luma o le Faamasinoga..”

The fourth defendant was a 15 year old who was also unrepresented and had been released on bail last week due to his age. Justice Fepuleai transferred the matter to the Youth Court and instructed the Registrar to process an application to ensure the young man was assigned Counsel through legal aid.

“This is the last time you will come to this Court,” said Justice Fepuleai who told the young man to go instead to the Youth Court next Wednesday.

Outside Court the mother of the 15-year-old said her family had already held formal traditional apologies before the families of the two boys who were beaten. The parents of Peniamina and Tuafale were relieved to have their sons released from Tanumalala, where they had been held in custody for the past two weeks.

All four youth will reappear next week as court proceedings continue.

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