Samoa
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Parties to a 10 year long murder investigation agree on settlement

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 09 FEBRUARY 2023: The three parties to a longstanding murder investigation have agreed on a settlement and Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke adjourned the matter to 22 February for the completion of the Memorandum of Agreement.

Parties to the case are Vaeua Seiuli represented by Mauga Precious Chang, Walker Seiuli represented by Leiataualesa Jerry Brunt and the Office of the Attorney General representing the Ministry of Police.

Central to the matter was a civil claim by Vaeua and Walker against the Ministry of Police and was scheduled for a three day hearing starting yesterday.

However the parties informed the Court that they have reached a Memorandum of Agreement and asked for an adjournment to the following day.

Justice Clarke however ruled that this was a longstanding matter that has to be dealt with.

Counsel for the Office of the Attorney General tried to justify a further delay but Justice Clarke gave the parties time to sort it out before he recalled the matter at 2.00 yesterday afternoon.

The parties then informed the Court of the Memorandum of Agreement but did not disclose its details or the amount of the claim.

3 lawyers
3 lawyers

Lawyers representing the parties – Violina Taipisia Leilua of the Attorney General’s office, Mauga Precious Chang & Leiataualesa Jerry Brunt leaving court.

Background to the case
In 2013, police investigated a murder at Lotofaga but did not make any arrest until four years later in 2017 when they arrested Vaeua and Walker.

Both accused were placed under police custody at Tafaigata prison then.

However, in 2018, the police dropped the charges as they did not have enough evidence against the accused.

The accused then filed a civil claim against the police which was heard before Justice Clarke yesterday.

However, before the hearing yesterday, the police counsel made an offer to Vaeua and Walker’s counsels who then relayed the message to Justice Clarke.