A petition against the Member of Parliament for Alataua West, Ali’imalemanu Alofa Tu’uau, took an interesting turn yesterday when an urgent mediation meeting was called.
Former Member of Parliament, Lafaitele Patrick Lei’ataualesa, is behind the petition, alleging bribery and treating against Ali’imalemanu.
Although the matter was referred to mediation late in the afternoon, if the parties do not reach an agreement by today, the hearing will resume.
Lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu is representing Lafaitele while Amelia Fa’asau is the lawyer for Ali’imalemanu.
Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu accepted the application for mediation.
Prior to the decision being made, Unasa said the parties need to agree on two issues. One of the issues needed to be discussed overnight as it involves the petitioner’s family.
Mrs. Fa’asau did not object to this.
Chief Justice Patu then adjourned the matter until 10 this morning. He told the parties they need to have a decision because the Court needs to know if the hearing would resume as it has a lot of other work to do.
There were two preliminary matters that were also raised in Court yesterday. The first issue involved a witness for the petitioner who is deaf. Unasa wanted some directions on how thus would be handled in terms of her evidence.
The second issue involved Neiafu villagers who have been stopped by the village from giving evidence.
In response, His Honour Patu said someone who can communicate with the witness could be used during his evidence. As for the villagers, he urged Unasa to summon them still.
“If they do not appear and if they find it difficult, the Court can issue a warrant of arrest,” he said.
The lawyer for Ali’imalemanu, Mrs. Fa’asau also pointed the Court’s attention to an affidavit that was not in the original file of the petition.
She argued that the affidavit of Taituave Uati had nothing to do with the counter petition allegations and should be excluded from the trial documents.
She added the allegations in the affidavit are separate.