5 Dec 2009

Samoa village matais face criminal charges over eviction of high ranking chief

10:09 am on 5 December 2009

Five village chiefs including orators of Asau village on Savaii island in Samoa are facing charges related to their decision to banish a high ranking chief.

The matais have been charged with conspiring to defeat the cause of justice and intimidation following a unanimous village council decision to banish the matai, former politician, Masoe Ulualofaiga Talamaivao Niko.

The high ranking chief filed a complaint which alleged the banishment against his family and supporters was based on an old village principal that no one can challenge a decision in the court of law.

The complainant, who was a former Minister of Police and Justice, took the village council to the Lands and Titles court as a result of a dispute in the bestowal of several high ranking matai titles of Asau village three years ago.