‘I am not being charged,’ Speaker writes

The Speaker of Parliament, Laauli Leuatea Polata’ivao, has disputed a story on the front page of the Samoa Observer yesterday under the headline “What Corruption? We’re transparent.”

The story quoted Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi talking about his government following the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance.

Towards the end of the story, Tuilaepa said Members of Parliament and senior H.R.P.P members are not immune from prosecution, as no one is above the law.

The Prime Minister made reference to his Associate Minister, Peseta Vaifou Tevaga who has been charged. He also referred to the Speaker’s involvement.

But in a letter yesterday, La’auli demanded a correction for the “factual error.”

“The story wrongly reported that I am also being charged in the matter where an Associate Minister is being criminally charged,” La’auli wrote. “I am not being charged for anything as your story said.”

The part of the story disputed by the Speaker is a quote from the Prime Minister, made during his weekly media programme.

When the Samoa Observer double checked the recording from the interview, the quote in Samoan says: “O lea fo’i e leo taofia lava e le malo le fa’amasinoga lena, lea e aafia ai le, lea a molia ai le Fofoga Fetalai.” 

The Samoa Observer accepts that the Prime Minister’s statement is factually incorrect and we therefore retract the reference to the Speaker being charged. 

The error is regretted.

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