Police to take action against witnesses that neglects subpoenas

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The Ministry of Police and Prisons are considering taking legal action against Police witnesses that fail to appear in Court to testify in their cases. 

Commissioner of Police, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo said under the law they can file criminal charges against complainants who are subpoenaed but “refuses or don’t show up for their cases to take the stand

“Keeping in mind the case before the court, was there in the first place after they had lodged their criminal complaint with the Ministry,” he said. 

Adding that with the increase of cases that had to be withdrawn due to witnesses not showing up, has prompted the Ministry to take action. 

Last month, the attempted murder charge against Tagaloa Maugaloto Palu, a former Toa o Samoa prop was dismissed as the Attorney General’s office “could not offer any evidence” due to the unavailability of complaining witnesses to testify.

This matter is in relation to a machete attack that occurred in 2020 at the fish market where Tagaloa allegedly struck two men with a machete. 

Fuifui Ioane, the prosecutor for this matter confirmed with Radio Polynesia this would be the third time, this matter has adjourned due to the unavailability of the complaining witnesses to testify. 

Ms Ioane explained information relayed to her was that one of the victims left the Country, while other witnesses were a “no show” hence the move to withdraw the criminal charges of attempted murder, 2 charges of grievous bodily harm, and a charge of being armed with a dangerous weapon against Tagaloa. 

Furthermore, Police who located the witnesses informed the Prosecutor they were reluctant to testify on this matter.