HRPP accepts Court decision and will not appeal it


The Human Rights Protection Party has accepted the decision by Court finding its Leader and Secretary guilty of contempt of court noting that it is time to move forward.

In doing so the HRPP has no intention of appealing the Court’s decision. Adding there are priorities at this moment referring to the current predicament faced by the Country with the rapid spread of the Community cases of COVID-19.

HRPP Secretary Lealailpule Rimoni Aiafi made these comments during a virtual press conference with the media, yesterday.

On Tuesday Leala, Maiava Visekota Peteru, and Leader of the Human Rights Protection Party, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, were found guilty of contempt of court. 

The claim was brought on by FAST and Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa against the respondents for allegedly undermining the court’s authority pertaining to the decision on electoral matters.

The ruling was handed down yesterday by overseas Justices, Robert Fisher and Raynor Archer who opted not to level any penalty given special circumstances of a harmony agreement, referring to an agreement signed by both leaders Tuilaepa and Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa to withdraw the contempt case.  

Leala said after speaking to their Party Leader, he’s in high spirits and has accepted the decision by the Court.

“The result of the case is what [Tuilaepa and Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa] wanted in the first place, to leave the past in the past and move forward, which eventually led to both parties HRPP and FAST, withdrawing claims and counterclaims against each other.

Regarding the possibility of losing their seats as a result of the conviction, Leala said there was no court hearing to defend their actions because what he said was in response to the rulings of the Supreme Court.

However, they will leave it at that as the parties have agreed to withdraw the claims and counterclaims between the parties. Adding that it’s time to move on.

The Justices Fisher and Archer in their ruling highlighted the Harmony Agreement was never adopted by the Court, however, noted the great significance of the views expressed in it by the current Prime Minister and the FAST party. 

“They feel strongly that it is time for Samoa to put these election arguments behind them.  “That would allow Samoa to unite in addressing greater challenges that lie ahead such as Covid and climate change. 

“To that end, they were prepared to discontinue the contempt proceedings altogether. If we had accepted the discontinuance it would have left the respondents without penalty. 

“Given that the respondents were the ones at risk in the proceedings, they were hardly about to disagree. 

“But the Prime Minister and her party had nothing personal or political to gain by discontinuing. We accept that as the Government elected by the people of Samoa, they know what is best for the country. Although it is important to publicly record and condemn these contempts of court, we see no need to go further.” 

The court ruled the precedent now stands. 

“It should now be plain how the Court would deal with repetitions. On this occasion, penalties would simply inflame disruptions and conflicts that have done enough harm already.