Faleatiu Drug Raid Suspects Claimed They Were Just Weeding Taro Plantation  

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  • Normal taro patch found in any village plantation back yard
    Normal taro patch found in any village plantation back yard

Deidre Fanene

Two of the 11 suspects who are charged separately in connection to the raid at Faleatiu in November told the court that they were weeding the taro plantation at Faleatiu when the police raided the area.

The pair told the court they weren’t at the marijuana plantation but rather at the taro plantation.

The lawyer for both suspects Leuluaialii Tasi Malifa told the court that his clients were nowhere near the area where the narcotics and seeds were spotted.

“They were just weeding the taro plantation but then they were brought in as part of the group.”

Leuluaialii applied for bail for the two defendants to make it easier to discuss with them the charges they are up against.

“Now I understand that some of the people that were brought in has been granted bail and I don’t know what the circumstances of it but what I’m suggesting to you your honor is that they are in custody and they are merely charged with possession of seeds.

“If they are on bail now, they will be able to report to Afega police station, they don’t have any travel documents and they will abide with whatever else your honor can find to impose conditions for bail and we will more than happy to accommodate you your honour.”

Justice Leiataualesa then asked prosecutor Magele Su’a – Mailo of the condition for bail and in response Magele said they oppose bail and defense counsel needs to file proper application for bail for the defendants.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

The court will consider pleas for the other nine defendants next week Monday.