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12 defendants charged for tying up a man plead not guilty

By Lagi Keresoma

Apia, Samoa – 23 October 2023: The 12 defendants charged for tying up a 72 year old village matai and carried him throughout the village using a yoke have pleaded not guilty.

The pleas were entered through their lawyer, Alex Su’a in court yesterday.

The men are facing charges including: Kidnapping, attempted murder, armed with dangerous weapon, assault, unlawful trespass and causing grievous bodily harm.

The charges stemmed from an incident last month at Lefagoalii village where the defendants were involved in assaulting and tying an elderly man to a yoke and carrying him from his home to the village malae.

The village applied the traditional punishment after giving the man an ultimatum to leave the village by 4.00 pm the day the village carried out the punishment.

The incident was caught on camera and shared widely on social media and attracted wide condemnation for the action taken.

The matter has been adjourned for hearing in May 2024.