Virtual hearing in contempt of court case underway


The virtual hearing for the contempt of court application filed by Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party against leaders of the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) leaders and former public servants following the general election last April underwent in the Supreme Court today.

The applicant is Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa who filed on behalf of FAST.

The respondents are former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi participated virtually; and present were Deputy Leader Fonoteo Lauofo Meredith and HRPP Secretary Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi.

Others implicated included Maiava, Visekota Peteru, former Attorney General, Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale, former Clerk of the House, Tiatia Graeme Tualaulelei; he Former Speaker of the House, Leaupepe Toleafoa Fa’afisi, TV1 presenter Taulealeausumai Sioeli Alofaifo, accused of undermining the court’s authority in relation to the decision on electoral matters.

Presiding the matter virtually are overseas Justices Robert Fisher and Raynor Archer.

Justice Fisher said the proceedings for the contempt of court application is to condemn people who have brought the courts’ decision in to disrepute.

He explained “the person brings a court into disrepute when they make false accusation that the court is bias and to disregard what the court says or if they disobey court orders.

“And thats what the applicant in this case against the former Prime minister and seven other people.”

His Honour noted that said Samoa has extended them the opportunity and they have been appointed due to of the lack of judges in the Country and the Chief justice his Honour Satiu Simativa Perese asked for them to conduct the proceedings.

Justice Fisher said a huge amount of work has been going behind the scenes and over the last six months they had ten conferences, they have issued 12 rulings those are all procedural matters and they have dealt with a number of matters in chambers, which leads to today’s hearing.

He said all the parties will be making submissions and the court will reserver their decision and they will be working on the judgment to be publicly released.

The first submission delivered this morning is by the FAST lawyers, Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu and co-counsel Ben Keith, and Radio Polynesia will report on it in later bulletin.