16 Oct 2007

Samoan Muslim leader says his standing not affected by court case

4:14 pm on 16 October 2007

The leader of the Muslim faith in Samoa, Mohammed La'ulu Daniel Stanley, says his position will not be affected despite being found guilty of two charges of carnal knowledge.

The police charged the religious leader after an incident between the defendant and a girl under 15 years of age.

But a panel of assessors found the 60-year old defendant not guilty of the other two counts of rape.

Mr Stanley says there is a difference between carnal knowledge and carnal interference.

But he says the technicalities of his case will be made known once he files an appeal during his sentencing next month.

Mr Stanley says he strongly suspects that politics was behind his case.

He is a well-known accountant and auditor who operates his own accounting firm.