20 Mar 2009

Court battle in Samoa over alleged stealing of funds by highranking chief

11:14 am on 20 March 2009

Several heirs of the Malietoa Natuitasina Taimalelagi clan, a paramount family in Samoa are currently involved in a legal battle in the district court.

The issue is over the alleged stealing of more than 7 thousand US dollars of family funds by one of the high ranking chief, Papalii John Afele, who is facing eight counts of theft.

The accused was the family treasurer and is currently holding a very senior position in the Ministry of Justice and Courts administration as an assistant chief executive officer for the Lands and Titles Court on Savaii Island.

The matter ended in court after a family member had filed a complaint to the police after discovering that all family funds had gone missing from a bank account in March last year.

Six family members including matais are giving evidence against the accused and the trial is scheduled to be completed this week.