A biological brother and his sister have pleaded guilty to charges of incest.
The defendants, aged 26 and 18, appeared before the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu yesterday for criminal mention.
It was there they pleaded guilty to the criminal charges.
The Prosecutor was lawyer, Fuifui Ioane, of the Attorney General’s Office.
During the criminal mention hearing, the brother and sister were asked if they wanted a lawyer for legal representation.
The pair declined the offer.
But their mother stood before the Court pleading for a lawyer.
“Your Honour, I’m the mother of the two defendants and I want a lawyer for them,” she said.
“It is I who want a lawyer to represent them.”
The Chief Justice reminded the mother that it’s her children whom are appearing before the court, not her.
“In that case I have to say no because you are not the one who is charged. I’ve just asked your children if they want a lawyer and they said no,” His Honour Patu said.
“Under the law that is not allowed, the Court only considers the defendants’ needs, not anyone else. Please have a seat.”
Chief Justice Patu then inquired again.
“I’ll ask you again, you both heard your mother so do you both want a lawyer?” they were asked by Chief Justice Patu.
The Chief Justice then rescheduled the brother’s hearing for two weeks, affording him the opportunity to get a defense lawyer.
However the sister’s case has been scheduled for 23 August 2017 to await a pre-sentence report ordered by the Court before Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala Warren.
The Chief Justice also ordered the Police report on this case.
According to the Police summary of facts, the incident occurred on 1st Feb and 1st June 2017 when the defendants had a sexual relationship knowing they are biological siblings.
The incident occurred in one of the villages in Savai’i.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Sala’a Moananu Sala’a said the incident was reported by a Pastor.
“According to the pastor, the brother and the sister go to the denomination that he looks after and he believes they are in a relationship,” Sala’a said.
“The penalty for this kind of crime is imprisonment for not more than 20 years. This is a very serious offence and we cannot tolerate this kind of thing because it goes against our beliefs.
“It’s very hard to accept it because we are a country that is founded on God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and it’s disgusting.
“We have values and our culture clearly states this. The whole of Samoa cannot and will not, accept this kind of behavior.”