APIA: 1 June 2012: His Highness the Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi today pardoned 35 prisoners currently serving time at the Tafa’igata and Vaia’ata prisons.
He made the declaration in his address during the celebration of the country’s 50th anniversary of independence this morning at the Mulinu’u traditional grounds where Samoa’s flag as an independent nation was first raised 1 January 1962.
Talking of forgiveness and Samoa as a family, he said 50 years is significant in the spiritual sense as well as in Samoan culture and tradition.
The powers to pardon prisoners rest with the Head of State on the advice of Cabinet. The last time prisoners were pardoned was on the first independence celebrations in 1962.