Deidre Tautua – Fanene
An underage boy facing a murder charge will not be treated any differently from an adult who is found guilty of the crime.
A court official made this clear to enquiries by the Newsline Samoa when the issue came up in the courtroom.
The question was raised after a 15 year old appeared before Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clark earlier this week in connection with the death of a 24 year old male.
According to the court official if any minor is found guilty of murder he/she is automatically sentenced to life imprisonment.
“The 15 year old will not be treated differently,” said the court official.
“If found guilty of murder it is a life imprisonment sentenced automatically no question and they will be taken initially to the Olomanu Juvenile Centre.”
Earlier this month police released a statement that a 16 year old has been charged with murder, however the minor is not yet 16 years old he is still 15 years old.
Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clark issued a suppression order on the minor because of his young age.
The deceased is the defendant’s cousin and according to a source from the Ministry of Police the deceased and the defendant had a dispute over a cigarette.
“The 24 year old deceased hit the defendant first with a broom (salu tu) while the defendant was holding a spade (suō) to mix the cement for a construction work.
“The defendant got angry and hit the deceased on the head with one of the sharp edges of the spade.”
The police stated in their report earlier this month that the deceased was taken and admitted at the Moto’otua hospital on the same day but passed away on the 5th of this month due to head injuries.
The matter has been adjourned to the 20th of September without plea for prosecution to finalise charges.