The Land and Titles Court yesterday ruled in favour of Fa’amausili Moli as the next holder of the Malietoa title.
The Malietoa title has been vacant for ten years since the passing of former Head of State, His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II.
Fa'amausili Moli is the son of the late Malietoa Tanumafili II.
According to the decision delivered yesterday, the Court upheld “the selection and appointment of Papali’itele Fa’amausili Moli Malietoa” as the new title holder.
“The title bestowal will take place as indicated under the Title 20 of the Lands and Titles Act 1981," the decision read out in Court said.
“After the tenure of Papali’itele Fa’amausili Moli Malietoa as the holder of the Malietoa title, the next in line is a suli (heir) from Malietoa Gatuitasina and if by 12 months they have not decided on anyone, then the title will go to Malietoa Talavou.
“If a suli of Malietoa Talavou has not decided on anyone within 12 months, it will move on to Malietoa Moli for the same process of 12 months.
“This is how the process will continue from here on out over the Malietoa title.”
Outside Court, Fa’amausili Moli declined to be interviewed.
“The time will come and I will reach out to the media to make a comment,” he said.
It was also not possible to get a comment from the parties who opposed Fa’amausili Moli.
In June 2017, the three sides of the Malietoa family unanimously agreed for Fa’amausili to carry the Malietoa title.
However the decision was challenged in Court by other members of the family.
At the time, Papali’i Li’o Taeu Masipa’u, the family’s Spokesperson said the decision for Fa’amausili to hold the title was made during a family meeting in Sapapali’i, Savai’i.
Papali’i Li’o said the agreement reached at Sapapali’i was the result of numerous meetings that had been ongoing for more than 10 years.
“After many meetings for close to 10 years, the three sides of the family have agreed on Papali’itele Fa’amausili Moli,” he said.
“The three sides of the families are Malietoa Gatuitasina, Malietoa Talavou and Malietoa Moli and they unanimously agreed.”
He also explained why the meeting was held in Savai’i.
“Because the heirs of Malietoa Gatuitasina, Malietoa Talavou and Malietoa Moli who all reside in Savai’i, the meeting was held there.”
Papali’i Li’o added the family made a unanimous decision and will oppose anyone who objects.