22 Aug 2006

Samoa PM says former minister must meet his own legal costs

9:50 am on 22 August 2006

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, says the former minister of Broadcasting and Telecommunications will pay his own legal fees.

The former government minister, Mulitalo Siafausa Vui, lost his parliamentary seat when he was found guilty of bribery in a court ruling last week as a result of an election petition by Samoa party leader and former government chief auditor, Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong.

The prime minister says legal fees for any election case against MPs including a cabinet minister are not a responsibility of the government.

Tuila'epa's comments come after the deputy prime Minister last week had raised concerns in a letter to the prime minister that the government could be liable for the fees because of the attorney general's office negligence in handling the former minister's case.

Meanwhile the prime minister says his party caucus will meet this week to discuss a replacement for the former cabinet minister.