Police defends decision

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Eti Sapolu with his 3 year old daughter Malu Sapolu.

Eti Sapolu with his 3 year old daughter Malu Sapolu. (Photo: Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong )

The Ministry of Police has defended their decision to hold a father and his 3-year-old daughter in an interview room for almost three hours on Monday morning. 

The man was 65-year-old Eti Sapolu of Vini-fou and his daughter Malu Sapolu. 

Police Assistant Commissioner, Sua Muliaga Tiumalu, said Police followed procedure and did not do anything wrong. 

“They were not arrested and they were not placed in a cell,” Su’a assured. 

“The man came with his daughter and after he was interviewed they left the Police station." 

“He was interviewed with regards to a family matter where his sister filed a complaint that he had damaged her garden.”

According to Mr. Sapolu, on Monday he said he had gone to the Police station to inquire about a matter he was a witness in when Police held him and his daughter in the room. 

“I went there about a matter in a witness in around 10am but when I got there I was told I was charged for damaging property belonging to my sister,” he said. 

“The police then told me I couldn’t leave the station and will be held at the interview room with my three year old daughter saying my daughter was too young to be placed in the cell with me." 

They were kept for three hours before they were released.

He said he had told the police officers that they could not hold his 3 year old daughter captive for three hours.

“We stayed there and I asked them what were the charges and if I can be released.”

According to Mr. Sapolu he was told he was charged for damaging the property of his sister at Vinifou.

The siblings live on their parents estate.

Mr. Sapolu denied damaging his sister’s garden claiming that he was clearing the trees on the other side of their land, upon which he has lived for more than 40 years.

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