30 Oct 2009

Samoa chief justice steps aside over former parole board role

12:13 pm on 30 October 2009

Samoa's Chief Justice, Patu Tiava'asu'e Falefatu Sapolu, has stepped down from presiding over the case of a former inmate because he was the chair of the Parole Board that released the man from prison several years ago.

The Talamua online news service reports the accused, Tagalosa Filipaina Faisaovale, faces new charges of possession of a dangerous weapon and drugs.

A lawyer for Tagaloasa, Maposua Solomona Toailoa, had asked the Chief Justice to step down for several reasons.

He rejected all but one of the requests - but told the court that given his involvement with the Parole Board he should step aside in this case.

The hearing has been reset for February the 1st to allow another judge to be appointed.

Tagalosa had been in jail, initially serving a life sentence for the murder of a police officer.