9 Jun 2012

Former Samoa cabinet minister among amnestied prisoners

8:17 am on 9 June 2012

A former Samoa cabinet minister, Leafa Vitale, was among the 35 prisoners released on Friday as an amnesty to commemorate the country's 50th anniversary of independence.

Leafa was jailed in 2000 for plotting with another cabinet minister, Toi Aukuso, the assassination of a cabinet colleague Luagalau Levaula Kamu the previous year.

Toi died while serving his prison sentence.

Leafa was paroled in 2010 due to health reasons and his son, Alatise Leafa Vitale, who shot Luagalau, was also paroled some months later the same year.

The amnesty was announced by Samoa's Head of State, Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese, during the Independence celebrations.