Prime Minister to give evidence in his accuser’s trial

Rula Vaai

, Court, Latest, Law

PHOTO: Paulo Malele or King Faipopo (in white shirt) who is charged for making false statements against the Prime Minister, with some of his supporters outside court


By Rula Su’a Vaai

APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 26 APRIL 2019:  The Prime Minister will give evidence in the trial of an Australian based Samoan man who is being charged of making false accusations against the Prime Minister.

Prosecutor Iliganoa Atoa told Talamua that the Prime Minister will be one of seven witnesses she will be calling.

The court hearing of Paulo Malele’s allegations against the Prime Minister has been adjourned next month.

Yesterday, District Court Judge, Papalii Rosella Viane adjourned the hearing to next month after considering a new motion filed by defence lawyer Unasa Iuni Sapolu.

Papalii said the defence pre-trial motion which was discussed in Chambers was that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter because the alleged actions by the defendant were done outside of Samoa.

Judge Papalii then ordered the Prosecution to file a response to the defence motion by Friday 3 May.  The Defence counsel is to file a submission in support of her motion by 10 May and Prosecution to respond by 20 May. Judge Papalii will then deliver her ruling on the motion by the 31 May.

Papalii also told both counsels that since this was the first time such an issue was dealt by the court, she would expect top notch research from prosecution and the defence.

Papalii added that since prosecution relies heavily on Sections 4 and 6 of the Crimes Act, they should look into the “intention” by Parliament on why they have enacted it in the Act. She also said counsels should look into the extra territorial legislation, in a situation where a person residing overseas posts something on social media.

Paulo Malele aka King Faipopo is facing 13 charges of making false statements allegedly harming the Prime Minister’s reputation.

Malele’s bail conditions include surrendering his passport and travel documents to the police.