16 Oct 2013

Samoa former ruling HRPP party MP convicted of contempt of court

5:11 pm on 16 October 2013

The District court in Samoa has convicted five members of the Tanugamanono village Congregational Christian church, including matais and a former ruling HRPP party MP, Anauli Pofitu Fesili, of one count of contempt of court.

They have been each ordered to pay a 100 US dollar fine today or face six months jail in default.

The ruling by Judge Mata Tuatagaloa comes after a submission by the defense counsel to discharge the MP and his fellow defendants without a conviction was denied.

The lawyer has told the court the former MP wants to stand for parliament again and it would be difficult if he was to be convicted.

But the presiding judge says the defendants charge was serious because they disobeyed a decision of the Lands and Titles court after they removed a boundary land marks.

Judge Tuatagaloa has reminded the defendants that they are village matais on whom the court relies to enforce the law and not to break it.