28 Jul 2005

Samoa Observer countersues health boss

3:47 pm on 28 July 2005

The Samoa Observer newspaper says a court hearing in Apia over defamation claims has been rescheduled for October.

The former CEO of health, Lolofie Dr Eti Enosa, has filed two 366,000 US dollar suits against the paper.

The Observer's editor-in-chief, Savea Sano Malifa, says the case will look at the paper's coverage of government investigations into alleged fraud and financial mismanagement at the Department of Health last year.

Savea says the paper has filed a counter suit against Lolofie for about 1.6 million US dollars.

"This is the first time that damages for this amount have been sought in the Samoa court in Samoa. We were sort of felt we were being unfortunately targeted so we counter sued for the amount you may have heard about."

The Samoa Observer's editor-in-chief, Savea Sano Malifa