Former political leader guilty of bribery and treating
By Unumoe Esera
APIA: Friday 18th May: Former leader of the Opposition Tautua Samoa Party (TSP) and former Cabinet Minister, Va’ai Papu Vaelupe has found guilty on two charges of bribery and one of treating and will be sentenced 15th June 2012.
The charges of treating took place on the 4th January last year and bribery on the 14th January 2011. Vaai was also jointly charged with his sister Foilagi Masoe on thirteen charges of bribery which the Court dismissed. Foilagi was found guilty on twelve charges which were also dismissed but was found guilty on one charge bribery.
Prosecutions argument was that whatever memorandum (decision) the Court issued should emphasize the elimination of corrupt practice.
Judge Mata Tuatagaloa who presided over the matter highlighted the intention of the Electoral Act to eliminate corrupt practice. She said that the receivers of such corrupt practice should also be charged and not just the giver.
“If you want to do that charge, the givers and receivers, this will truly advocate the Act,” said Judge Tuatagaloa.