Date set for hearing of Peseta’s Manager claim

By Deidre Fanene ,

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Associate Minister Peseta Vaifou and Minister La'auli Leuatea Polataivao.

Associate Minister Peseta Vaifou and Minister La'auli Leuatea Polataivao. (Photo: File)

The Supreme Court has set a date for the hearing of the latest development in the longstanding business dispute between two senior H.R.P.P members, Peseta Vaifou Tevaga and La’auli Leuatea Polata'ivao, and other associates.

Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu, set the week beginning on 5 June 2017 as the date for the hearing.

The decision was delivered yesterday when the matter was called.  

His Honour Patu notified defense counsel Semi Leung Wai that Justice Lesatele Rapi Vaai had left a note for them to meet in Chamber on Wednesday, 1 February 2017.

“I see that Justice Vaai has a note for counsels to meet with him in Chambers on the 1st of February,” said Chief Justice. “The week commencing the 5th of June is set for the hearing of the matter.”

Last week, Peseta’s lawyer, Leuluaiali’i Olinda Woodroffe, asked the Court to remove a Court-appointed Manager for Local Partners and Associates Company. Peseta, the Associate Minister of Prime Minister and Cabinet is up against La’auli, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Apulu Lance Polu and Martin Schwalger. 

Leuluaiali’i argued that interim Manager, Tagaloa Fa’afouina Su’a, should be removed for reasons he has not done anything to develop the company financially since his appointment by Court on December 2015.

But Mr. Leung Wai opposed the motion.

 “Tagaloa wrote twice to the Court to explain the financial situation of the company,” he told the Court.

 “In December last year, lawyer Leali’ifano Iopu Tanielu who was representing Leulua’iali’i at the time met with Semi and Lesa to discuss the appointed Court manager’s letter in regards to the financial situation of the company.

 “Therefore give Tagaloa a chance to respond because as I understood Tagaloa has not been served with the letter discussed by Leulua’iali’i.”

But Leauluaiali’i wants her client, Peseta, to take over as Interim Manager.

According to a sworn affidavit by Peseta, he argues that the Court-appointed Manager has acted in breach of his duties and has failed to act in the best interests of the company.

 “The plaintiff submits that the Court-appointed manager has failed to exercise the care, diligence and skills of a reasonable Court-appointed Manager. The Court-appointed manager has failed to act in the best interest of the company local partners…”

The plaintiff submits that the Court-appointed Manager has contributed to Local Partners and Associates, “bleeding  financially” but his failure to act in good faith, failure to act in the best interest of the Company, and by his failure to act independently of Apulu Polu and Hon La’aulimalietoa Leautea Schmidt.” 

Mr. Leung Wai objected to the appointment of Peseta as an Interim Manager.

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