28 Sep 2016

Samoan minister testifes against cabinet colleague

12:15 pm on 28 September 2016

Samoa's Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries has given evidence in a trial supporting criminal charges against a fellow minister.

Samoa's capital, Apia

Samoa's capital, Apia Photo: RNZI/Sally Round

The Associate Minister of the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Peseta Vaifou Tevaga, is charged with fraud and forgery.

The charges stem from a business dispute and the transfer to Peseta of his son's shares in the company.

La'auli Polataivao Leuatea Schmidt told the court the matter had been referred to police after suspicions of a letter given by the defendant to the Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industry showing a decision for the transfer to Peseta of his son's shares.

The courthouse in Apia, Samoa.

The courthouse in Apia, Samoa. Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

But La'auli denies that the directors made a decision approving the transfer.

One of the signatory's in the letter is a director of the company alleged to have been forged by Peseta.

However the defense lawyer, Leuluaialii Olinda Woodroffe, told the court that Peseta would be giving evidence that there was a meeting of the company's directors in which a decision was reached for the transfer of his son's shares.

The trial continues in Apia.