Pauga granted bail, but must pay $2,000 bond


Talalelei Pauga who was extradited from Australia in relation to a conspiracy to murder allegation, has been granted bail, however, with the condition that he pays a $2,000 bond.

The decision was handed down last week by Supreme Court Justice Niaava Mata Keli Tuatagaloa. The prosecutor in this matter is  Elizabeth Roselyn Tiitii while the defendant is represented by Tufuga Fagaloa Tufuga.

Pauga is the third defendant over conspiracy claims to murder former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi of which two others have been sentenced to four years in jail.

According to the judgment Pauga has been remanded in custody since being extradited to Samoa from Australia on 1 September 2023. He has been charged with conspiracy to murder pursuant to section 106 of the Crimes Act 2013.

The penalty is life imprisonment.

The prosecution noted that Pauga absconded from the country and it took two years for the extradition process to take place. Justice Tuatagaloa said she was baffled by the prosecution’s attitude toward bail application as to the grounds they raised opposing the bail.

Firstly, when asked concerning the issue of ‘absconding’ as to whether there was a charge laid against the defendant before the defendant had left the country, the Prosecution confirmed that there was no charge filed at the time. The Prosecution’s concern about the defendant again absconding if granted bail has no substance. As a result, the Prosecution informed the Court that they do not oppose bail.

Justice Tuatagaloa ruled that bail is granted on the condition that he pays a $2,000 bond and must be a law-abiding citizen and that he is to reside at Lalovaea at the residence of Josephine Fuimaono-Sapolu.