Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says the letter is defamatory and his signature was forged
Editor’s Note: This story has been modified as there were errors in the year Luagalau was assassinated in the original published earlier
By Staff Reporters
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 08 FEBRUARY 2018: The Prime Minister has instructed his officials to investigate and identify the author of a letter published on facebook over the weekend that implicates the PM as involved in a further “mission” after the assassination of a Cabinet Minister in 1999.
Tuilaepa told the media that the letter is defamatory and his signature was forged and he places no importance on it.
Dated November 2007, the letter has Auelua T at the top which Tuilaepa said refers to him but he was only bestowed the Auelua title in 2015.
The letter makes out Tuilaepa asking the late Cabinet Minister Toi (Aukuso) in a plan to carry out a ‘mission’ that requires releasing Toi from Tafaigata prison and keeping Leafa (the other Minster jailed for life for the assassination of Cabinet Minister Luagalau) for release in a later date.
The letter carries Tuilaepas’ usual signature at the bottom. “Remember someone was jailed before for forging my signature,” he reminded.
A footnote in the letter referred to Tuilaepa arranging for $6,000 talā to secure Toi’s release from prison.
Tuilaepa became Prime Minister a few months before Luagalau was assassinated in July 1999.
Need for government to act
Tuilaepa also told the media that the latest incident has prompted Government to act to investigate the letter. “The government can no longer sit around, we need to act,” said the Prime Minster.
Government recently restored the Criminal Libel Act to address defamatory publications on social media. A former church minister filed a complaint with police for personal attacks against him and his family published on social media.
Tuilaepa said he knows the authors and their identities will be made public once the investigation is complete.