9 Oct 2015

Samoa child detention case proceeds

3:30 pm on 9 October 2015
Leulua'ialii Olinda Woodroffe

Leulua'ialii Olinda Woodroffe Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia.

A Supreme Court hearing in Samoa will hear evidence from legal action filed against the Ministry of Police over breaches of human rights after a three-year-old child was locked up in custody without criminal charges.

The hearing will now go ahead after a strike out motion by the Attorney General representing the Ministry of Police, who is the defendant and respondent, was denied.

The three-year-old child and his Father had been detained by the police earlier this year over a traffic offence.

The lawyer for the plaintiff, Leulua'ialii Olinda Woodrooffe, says this case is a precedent in Samoa's legal history.

"It's actually a major issue because if it was thrown out today, then whatever the consequences to this young child and the future consequence of such actions by people in power against our children would not be recogonised by law. So it's a major step in our history."

The case is adjourned for the Plaintiff to make amended statements and for the defendant to file a response to the legal action.