18 Aug 2006

Samoa's Mulitalo considers criminal charges after election petition defeat

1:44 pm on 18 August 2006

The Samoan telecommunications minister who lost his job and seat in an election petition, Mulitalo Siafausa Vui, won't give up his bid to keep his seat.

Mulitalo says he's considering to file criminal charges against Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong, who was yesterday celebrated his victory after his case where the former minister was found guilty of bribery.

The latest move by Mulitalo comes after he first told the media at his home that he's considering filing a lawsuit against the attorney general office for negligence in handling his case which cost him his parliamentary seat.

Mulitalo's criminal charges are expected to be based on his counter allegations of bribery and treating against Su'a.

These allegations were dropped during the petition when the court had dismissed the majority of the petitioner's allegations because of lack of evidence.

The leader of the Samoa party, Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong, says the Supreme Court ruling which declared void the election result for Fa'asalele'aga number four constituency has set the right direction for future elections.

The MP for Fa'asalele'aga number four constituency and broadcasting minister, Mulitalo Siafausa Vui, has lost his seat after being found guilty of bribery through his traditional presentations or o'o held outside of his constituency in November last year.

Su'a says the ruling has upheld what he believed.

"If there is any ambiguity or if there is any deliberate doing of things that are unlawful, well we should stop that because it is important that bribery, treating and corruption on the impact of elections of representatives of Samoa to its Parliament, should be minimised."

Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong.

The Supreme court also found MP Paepae Kapeli Su'a, who has also lost his seat, guilty of two counts of bribery while the petitioner, Tautoloitua Farani Posala, has also been found guilty of three counts each of bribery and treating.