28 Oct 2006

Samoa's attorney general welcomes legal challenge from New Zealand lawyer

10:44 am on 28 October 2006

Samoa's attorney general, Brenda Heather Latu, is welcoming any legal challenge from a New Zealand based lawyer, Iuni Sapolu, over the lease of Taumeasina Island to a developer.

Ms Sapolu's brothers were evicted from the island last week by police

The attorney general, writing in the government newspaper, has questioned Ms Sapolu's understanding of the matter; whether she's involved because of her brothers; or whether she owns the island.

Ms Latu describes the Sapolu claim of the island as "ridiculous".

This follows a statement from Iuni Sapolu, saying the island was originally re-claimed by an American developer George Hadley, in the late seventies for a hotel which was never completed.

The lawyer says her family was asked by Mr Hadley to look after the land and Ms Sapolu questions whether the government had any right to lease the island.

Meanwhile the lawyer's brother, Saute Sapolu, was appearing this week in court over charges of trespassing and threatening the workers on the island.

The case has been adjourned to March next year for hearing.