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Govt chooses not to file charges against man from Samoa

Immigration Office logo
Instead he is turned over to Immigration Office

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man from Samoa who was arrested by police on the allegation that he broke inside a home in Vaitogi and stole several items was ordered by the court to be released from police custody, and transferred to custody of the Immigration Office, after the government wished not to file a criminal complaint against him.

Kilisimasi Samata made his initial appearance before District Court Judge Fiti Sunia yesterday morning.

When his case was called, prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Laura Garvey informed the court that after speaking with the arresting police officer about the case and also reviewing the file, the government would not file any charges against Samata. They did not elaborate.

Sunia asked Garvey whether the government is looking at filing a new separate case, the prosecutor replied, no.

An Immigration officer (IO) who was in court informed the court that Samata, a citizen of Samoa was an overstayer — he entered the territory on a 30-day permit in October of last year.

Judge Sunia acknowledged the government move not to file any charges against the defendant and then turned to the IO and informed him that the court is now going to release Samata from the government’s custody and transfer him to the custody of Immigration.

The government claimed that on Sept. 26, 2018, a sister and her brother walked into Tafuna Sub Station with another unknown Samoan male individual, who was later identified as Satama, who had been disturbing the peace at their residence in Vaitogi.

An hour later, another female individual walked into the same police station and made a contact with Captain John Cendrowski, where she claims that Samata broke into her house and stole her laptop, tablet, and her phone. Furthermore, the female individual stated to police that Samata also stole her deceased husband’s personal belongings.

Captain Cendrowski advised the arresting police officer Samuel Liliu to book and confine Samata for public peace disturbance and to prevent preach of peace on his continuous breaking and stealing from the victim. He was booked and confined to jail.

During the booking process, a glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine; 4 yellow scissor-burned tip and a red lighter was discovered inside Samata’s right front side pocket. The discovery was seized and transported to Police Central Station for evidence.