APIA: THURSDAY 19 September 2013: The Samoan Government has confirmed that it is closely reviewing the issues surrounding a court case involving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Samoan parishioners in Brisbane, Australia, but that it will not provide a commentary on the case as it progresses.
In a statement issued this afternoon, the Government has acknowledged that this is a case which raises important issues of religious practice and cultural rights, affecting Samoans.
Because of its interest in the case, the Government has briefed the Attorney General to give advice to the Government regarding the matter, and has consulted with both parishioners and Church leaders regarding their views on the issue.
The Attorney General met with the General Counsel of the Church on 11 September 2013. The Prime Minister also recently met with representatives of the parishioners and their lawyer to hear their version of events and has written to Church leaders encouraging a resolution to the dispute.
After consulting with both groups, the Prime Minister has emphasized the importance of ensuring that the dispute resolution process now be allowed to progress without further Government intervention, and that to allow justice to take its course.
The Government will not comment further on the case until the matter has been resolved.