Moli loses Samoa's Malietoa title

Updated at 1:33 pm on 19 June 2008

Samoa's Lands and Titles court has stripped the Malietoa paramount matai title from Papalii Faamausili Moli, the son of the late head of state.

Our correspondent in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, was in court.

"Faamausili, was bestowed with the paramount matai title in June last year. That move led to the heirs of two other clans of the title filing court petitions against the bestowal. They argued that a court decision in 1939 said that the three clans of the title, Malietoa Gatuitasina, Malietoa Talavou, and Malietoa Moli, should decide the next successor after the reign of the late Malietoa Tanumafili II. The same decision was reached in to today's ruling. The court made it clear the three clans have the sole rights to decide the next holder of the title, and that other factions of the title are not part of the decision making process. In Samoa, I'm Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia for Radio New Zealand International."

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