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Samoa court denies bail for gun fight defendant

Supreme Court Justice Lesatele Rapi Va’ai has denied bail for Oveleni Vaili after prosecution opposed defence counsel Iuni Sapolu’s application. Vaili is one of two men charged in relation to an incident that occurred at Fasitoo-uta on 18 December, 2014 where an alleged gunfight materialized leaving a Police officer wounded.The second defendant Malaki Tavita however was granted bail on the condition that he report to Police at Afega on Monday and Thursday, turn in his travel documents to the Court and reside with his sister at the village of Afega.He was represented by lawyer Maiava Visekota. The prosecuting lawyer in the matter is Rexona Titi.Ms. Sapolu, prior to his Honour’s denial of her bail application for her defendant, argued that her client was innocent until proven guilty.As a result he should be granted bail, she said.She told the court her client had been held in custody at the Police Station in Apia from 18 December until March.Throughout all that time, he was subjected to Police brutality. His Honour questioned why an affidavit to support her claims was not presented before the court.She responded that she wanted to know what Prosecution’s submissions were in relation to her application for the bail of her client.Despite further attempts by Ms Sapolu to change his ruling, to His Honour denied her client bail.