9 Aug 2006

Samoa attorney general clarifies stance in acquittal

1:14 pm on 9 August 2006

Samoa's Attorney general, Brenda Heather Latu, has made public the reasons behind the withdrawal of a planned appeal against the acquittal of a former police officer charged with murder.

She was speaking after the father of the 25-year-old man, who was killed in the incident, questioned the withdrawal.

The father, Samuelu Petelo Fili, told the Samoa Observer newspaper that he had offered witnesses but the government's law office had said he had nothing to worry about because they already had enough evidence to support an appeal.

But Mrs Heather Latu says the trial of the former officer was just and fair.

She says all relevant and admissible evidence was received by the Supreme Court, which prosecutors had felt was sufficient to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The court had not supported that opinion.

Mrs Heather Latu says the point of law on which the appeal was going to be based was considered too narrow to proceed with.