Court denied “motion to quash” by Tiumalumatua Maifea Fetu


District Court Judge Leota Raymond Schuster has denied the motion to quash filed on behalf of Tiumalumatua Maifea Fetu, in relation to his alleged defamation case. 

The decision was rendered this morning by Judge Schuster and this means the case will proceed to hear as initially scheduled in court.

Last week Judge Schuster expressed disappointment when this matter was called for hearing as the prosecution witnesses were not in the Country, as they were on travel.

Judge Schuster questioned why the hearing date was set when the prosecution has yet to serve their witnesses with the summons to appear in court; this prompted the move by Defence to file a motion to quash the information against the defendant, which led to the hearing yesterday.

During that hearing, Defence Counsel Fuimaono Sefo Ainuu, cited the Crimes Act 2015 on the jurisdiction, section 4, which outlines that the Samoan Court has no jurisdiction to hear or try anyone on an offence that was committed outside of Samoa.

The criminal charges against the Australian Broadcaster were in relation to a complaint lodged by Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi over alleged “derogatory” claims made against how the FAST Administration took office.

Judge Schuster asked the Defense Counsel to pinpoint which part of section 4 that excludes offences committed outside of Samoa. Adding the defense legal arguments depends on proving that the Samoa legislation does “exclude” offences that were committed outside Samoa.

Furthermore, the District Court Judge stated that while Section 4(1) refers to “all offences” Section 4(2) applies to all acts done or committed in Samoa and subsections 3 and 4.