“Illegal leaking” alarms

A group from the Malietoa family has called on the President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepuleai Ropati Atilla, to investigate the alleged “illegal leaking” of a petition in a sensitive matter.

Their petition, they claim, has ended up with another party in the sensitive Court matter before it had even been publicised in the Savali, as is per usual procedure.

The call on the President is highlighted in a letter obtained by the Sunday Samoan. 

Dated 25 September 2017, the letter is signed by Papali’i Titiuatoa Malietoa, Papali’i Ioane Malietoa and Papali’i Malietau Malietoa. 

The letter also had the official stamp of the Court acknowledging receipt. 

According to the letter, the trio “express their deep concern that a petition we had lodged with the Lands and Titles Court in the matter of the Malietoa Title has been illegally leaked.” 

“It is our opinion that the law is specific on this matter that any petition to the Court is not legal until it has been published in the Savali newspaper,” the letter reads. 

“Therefore it cannot be released to the public before that time. We understand from the Savali Office that the September issue of the Savali relating to matters of the Lands and Titles Court will not be published until late October 2017."  

“We are extremely disappointed and concerned by this unprofessional behavior by someone in the Court” and the more unbecoming behavior of the person whom the document was leaked to, says the letter. 

Papali’i Titiuatoa, Papali’i Ioane and Papali’i Malietau pointed out their lawyers are seeking full disclosure of this matter or a Civil Court Action will be pursued against the person who received the leaked document. 

The letter indicated that “the petition was read out word for word and word perfect” by the person who received the document during a family meeting on Thursday 21 September in Malie.  

“That is evidence enough that she has a copy of the petition which was illegally obtained and leaked from inside the Lands and Titles Court."  

“We request a full investigation on this issue to find out who leaked our petition especially those that have had access to the Malietoa Title file at the Court." 

“This is a serious breach of trust because not only must Justice be done but it must also been seen to be done. There is no reason why our Petition to the Court should be in the hands” of a member of the public. 

 “We would also like to know who else the Court leaked our Petition to."

 “We look forward to receiving your response to this disgraceful matter within seven days please.”

The letter is copied to the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Sapolu, Minister of Justice and Courts Administration, Faaolesa Katopau Ainuu, C.E.O. of the Ministry of Justice, Papali’i John Afele, Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Unasa Iuni Sapolu and the person the family alleged had received the leaked document.

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