By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 22 AUGUST 2018: The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi has rejected allegations that the US Federal Government has frozen his assets that include 8 houses in 5 different states in America.
Speaking on the Weekly News Programme with Talamua and SamoaFM Radio last night, Tuilaepa also denied allegations that he has a bank account in the Cayman Islands.
The allegations were made on the vicious blog Ole Palemia and Talamua posed the questions to the Prime Minister on the request of a Samoan currently working in Europe who expressed his concern about the seriousness of the allegations.
The Prime Minister laughed it off, saying he does not have the money to buy all the alleged assets and that his only son who is overseas is accompanying his wife who works in a diplomatic post in New York.
“The first thing is, I have never been to the Cayman Islands and I have no idea what that is.”
“Secondly I do not have money to buy 8 houses in America. How can I buy 8 houses in the US if I cannot afford to buy one in New Zealand,” said Tuilaepa.
“The only money I have is used to look after my wife, my children and to serve 6 matai titles I have.”
Extradition for trial in Samoa
Meanwhile, Tuilaepa has filed a complaint against a Samoan based in Australia, Malele Paulo also known as King Faipopo on Facebook under the Criminal Libel Act.
The Prime Minister’s complaint centers on recent accusations posted by Paulo on YouTube and later posted on the Social Media via Facebook accusing Tuilaepa of murder and smuggling firearms.
Tuilaepa said that he has tasked the Attorney General’s Office to begin the process requesting extradition for Paulo to stand trial in Samoa to answer to his defamatory accusations.
The Prime Minister has also filed a criminal complaint with police to initiate the process.
In his viral post, Paulo claimed that Tuilaepa murdered his “Uncle” and late Cabinet Minister Luagalau Levaula Kamu by plotting his assassination.
Paulo also said the Prime Minister was the ringleader of the alleged smuggling of three containers of firearms into Samoa. Further, he dared Tuilaepa to pay for his airfares so that he can travel to Samoa from Australia for a face to face meeting.
Apology and fear for his family’s safety
Claiming that he is fearless and is not intimidated by Tuilaepa, King Faipopo this week issued a public apology on social media claiming that he fears for the safety of his wife and children who are receiving threats.
But the Prime Minister said that he is not aware of any apology and if there is one, Paulo should apologise to him in person since he is the victim of his accusations.
And he finds no credible evidence that Paulo and his family’s safety is being compromised.
“I am not prohibiting anyone from exercising their freedom of speech or freedom of expression but I take issue when the rights of the innocent, like myself are violated through lies and deceit.
“This kind of lying and attacking members of the community through social media is what the law was designed to prevent.
“And my respect is based on factual claims provided there is sufficient evidence to prove that the claims are truthful,” continued the Prime Minister.
“It’s a public record that the men who assassinated the late Cabinet Minister had their fair trial and were convicted but this nit wit appears to have his own story to prove otherwise.
First Class Treatment
“If that is the case, it’s only fair for him to present his evidence in court in Samoa.”
Tuilaepa said that he is also baffled with how he is implicated with the allegations of smuggling three containers of firearms to use to cause strife and civil unrest.
The matter is now up to Police and the Attorney General’s Office to pursue.
But the Prime Minister is already predicting the outcome noting that “As a King, he will be treated first class in brand new accommodation quarters and three square meals a day free of charge, when the new Tanumalala Prison is completed.”