8 May 2006

Samoa broadcasting minister denies bribery allegation

1:20 pm on 8 May 2006

Samoa's Broadcasting and Telecommunications Minister has denied bribery and treating allegations.

The allegations were made by his election rival and Samoa Party Leader, Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong.

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia reports.

"Government minister, Mulitalo Seali'imalietoa Siafausa Vui in his counter petition says that the petitioner is guilty of corrupt practices and not him. The Minister alleges that Su'a Rimoni gave $3,490 tala in total to several voters and electors in his village of Lano with the intention to bribe them. Mulitalo is also accusing the former government controller and chief auditor and Samoa party leader of giving a brand new Television set to a family in his village for the purpose of inducing the elector and members of his family to vote for him. Mulitalo's counter petition is also asking the court to dismiss the petition on grounds under the electoral act and its amendments. It says an election petition shall be presented within seven days after the day on which the Electoral Commissioner publicly notified the results of the poll. The seven days expired on April 7th but the petition was presented to the office of the Supreme Court on April 24th. The case will be heard in two weeks time."