Lawyer seeks to quash charges against church ministers for not paying taxes

PHOTO: A prayer before the church ministers and supporters went into court

By Rula Su’a – Vaai

APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 11 MARCH 2019: The lawyer representing 20 Congregational Christian Church Samoa church ministers for not paying taxes is seeking to quash the charges when the matter is recalled in court tomorrow.

Alex Su’a is also applying for a stay of proceedings.

Last Friday, District Court Judge Leota Raymond Schuster dismissed the application by Su’a to transfer the matter for hearing in the Supreme Court.

The counsel argued that the District Court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter in relation to constitutional rights. The argument was found irrelevant and Judge Schuster dismissed the application.

The 20 church ministers are each facing two charges of failing to withhold tax, and failure to file wage tax returns.