Former PM’s legal challenge in court this week


The Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) leader, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has cited the Harmony Agreement as part of their legal challenge against Parliament Speaker, Papalii Li’o Taeu Masipau and the Attorney General.

Talamua reported this was confirmed by Tuilaepa’s lawyer Dr. Harrison when the matter was called in Court yesterday. 

Dr. Harrison told the presiding Judge Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke that they will provide a witness knowledgeable in the Samoan matai system with regards to the Harmony Agreement signed between HRPP and the FAST party following the many court cases after the 2021 general election.

He confirmed the possibility of a third witness to give evidence on this particular issue.

Dr. Harrison also confirmed filing a “substantive affidavit” regarding the actual challenge of his client’s two year suspension from Parliament by the end of the week.

He requested the Court to speed up the process and to deal with this legal challenge as soon as possible.

Justice Clarke informed Dr. Harrison that when all his documents are filed, he would set a time for the Respondents to file their response and take it from there.

Tuilaepa and HRPP Secretary Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi’s legal challenge is against their two year suspension imposed following a decision of Parliament three months ago.

The suspension was recommended by the Parliament Privileges and Ethics Committee who found Tuilaepa and Lealailepule guilty of breaching parliamentary ethics and called for a suspension “until such a time.”

There was no specific time given for the suspension and the matter ended up in Court that ruled that Parliament should revisit its decision.

The Committee revisited its decision that recommended a two year suspension that was approved by parliament and is the basis of the matter now before the Court.

Representing the Respondent is Letoafaiga Lalau David Fong of the Attorney General’s office.

SOURCE: Talamua