The Ministry of Police has executed a search warrant on the Samoa Observer premises at Vaitele.
It was part of their investigation to track down the person who has been making what they claim as “defamatory” statements against a woman who claims to be carrying the marks of Jesus Christ’s suffering and her family.
The search warrant was served on the Editor of the Samoa Observer, Mata’afa Keni Lesa, at the company’s Vaitele headquarters on Thursday.
Two Police officers arrived with the warrant and met with the Editor. Dated 18 April 2017, the warrant is signed by a Registrar of the District Court and Police Constable Kurisi Kurisi.
“Police are currently investigating a Harassment utilizing means of electronic communication case against the Samoa Observer, Vaitele,” the warrant reads.
“We request for informations of the Article named 'Stop this madness' which was published on Wednesday 29:03:2017.”
The warrant demanded that the name of the author and contacts be handed over.
The “article” in question was published in the Letters to the Editor section of the Samoa Observer.
It was an online comment penned by a person with the initials “M.R” in response to a front page story titled "Church stigmata row deepens” published on 26 March 2017.
A reference in the letter about “D.N.A” in connection to the stigmata was later retracted by the Samoa Observer.
According to the Police, a former Reverend of the E.F.K.S, Opapo Soana’i Oeti, has lodged a complaint against the Samoa Observer, in relation to the letter.
The warrant comes at a time when Mr. Oeti had also lodged a separate complaint, which has triggered a Police hunt for an online blogger known as “Ole Palemia.”
The woman who claims to be carrying Jesus Christ’s suffering, Toa Patrick, is Mr. Oeti’s daughter.