27 Feb 2009

Samoan musician avoids jail to help fight drug abuse

5:30 pm on 27 February 2009

A prominent musician in Samoa has avoided a jail term on drugs charges with the judge calling on him to help the fight against drug use.

Mailo Ben Vai has been fined and put under 12 months supervision with a special condition to participate in the Probation office's proposed anti-drug campaign instead of serving a jail sentence.

Judge Vui Clarence Nelson says the musician's case represents an opportunity to do something useful in the country's fight against drug use.

The judge says since Vai is a well known personality and entertainer particularly to the younger generation, his experience can be used positively to inspire other young people not become involved with drugs.

The prosecution had sought a jail term arguing the prevalence of drug offending and the need to stamp it out.