Privileges and Ethics Committee to revisit the penalties against HRPP members


Speaker of the House, Li’o Papalii Taeu Masipau has called on the Privileges and Ethics Committee to reconvene to “revisit” the penalties” levelled against the HRPP leader Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi and party Secretary Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi. 

In a press statement issued last Friday, the Speaker stated the “opportunity granted by the Supreme Court is of great importance for the Committee to reconsider an opportunity for the members to present their submission in accordance to the penalty submitted by Parliament. 

“Simply put this is a prominent opportunity for the members to request the committee to reconsider the penalty made against them. At present these mitigating factors will assist the Committee in considering penalties for them. 

“It is the Speaker’s intention for the Members to have more opportunities to plead their punishments before the Committee. They will also have an opportunity when Parliament is convened on 18 October 2022.” 

Last month the court voided Parliament’s decision to suspend Tuilaepa and Leala indefinitely.

The Speaker says the Privileges and Ethics Committee was established to investigate this matter after a motion was approved in Parliament and the committee proved the members breached the Privileges of Parliament and to be suspended temporarily until such a time.

“However the process must be followed a suitable penalty was not adhered to as stated by the Court. 

“The Court found there is a procedural error in the Committee process, and the Legislative Assembly regarding the penalties for the Members, which clearly shows that the work of the Committee is incomplete.”m 

The Speaker concluded that to ensure procedures are met in accordance with constitutional rights together with the decision of the Supreme Court.” 

“I believe the Privileges and Ethics Committee that investigated the matter should reconvene, revisit the penalties and complete the tasks assigned to them by the Legislative Assembly.”