Police sued for breach of constitutional rights

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

2018 Hits

MINISTRY OF POLICE CHARGED: Police officers arrested the plaintiff based on assumptions.

MINISTRY OF POLICE CHARGED: Police officers arrested the plaintiff based on assumptions. (Photo: Misiona Simo/Samoa Observer)

The Ministry of Police has been sued for breaching a citizen’s constitutional rights. 

The lawsuit was filed by a Malo Mose and he is asking for $100,000 in damages after he was arrested back in February this year and the charges were thrown out in August after the prosecution submitted in Court that it did not have sufficient evidence to proceed.

Mose is represented by Mauga Precious Chang. 

According to the statement of claim filed against the Ministry of Police and lodged with the Office of the Attorney General, Mose was questioned and arrested by the Police on February 8, 2018. 

The plaintiff told the Police that he cannot understand Samoan but the Police Officers continued to question him in Samoan. 

The Police then gave the plaintiff documents to sign, but refused as the documents were in Samoan and he could not read in Samoan.  

“Mose was arrested and remanded in police custody overnight. The next day he was released by the Court Registrar and the plaintiff appeared in court. Mose entered a plea of not guilty on February 20, 2018 during his appearance in Court and the matter was adjourned to May 2018 for hearing. However, on that day it was revealed that the prosecution had not served trial documents to the plaintiff." 

“On August 10, 2018 the prosecution sought leave of the Court to withdraw charges on the basis of insufficient evidence. The court granted the application and dismissed the charges against the plaintiff.” 

The statement of claim argues that the police officers abused their power by arresting Mose without good cause, without admissible evidence to support the charge for arrest. 

The claims further notes that the Police made no proper investigation as per its function to determine the situation before taking any action. 

Also the Police officers made assumptions and they had used the legal process in order to accomplish an ulterior purpose of oppression against Mose and abused the court’s process of filing unsubstantiated charges.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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