18 Sep 2013

Samoa MP raises concerns over delay of his court case

3:26 pm on 18 September 2013

A member of Samoa's opposition Tautua Samoa party, Levaopolo Talatonu, has raised concerns at the continuing delay of his district court trial because of what he calls the slow progress by the police and customs.

The MP is facing eight charges of fraud and false declarations under the Customs Act relating to the allegedly unlawful importation by his shipping agent of a container holding five hundred cartons of whiskey.

The case was adjourned on Monday for the fifth time - it will next be in court in November.

This came after the court accepted applications for the MP's case to be heard together with criminal charges against a woman employee of his shipping business.

Mr Talatonu says he hopes the matter will go ahead without another adjournment.

He says his rights to a fair trial could be affected because he is defending himself without a lawyer.