Contempt of Court hearing today

The hearing of sixteen matai (chiefs and orators) of the village of Malie charged for contempt of Court scheduled for yesterday at the District Court did not happen. 

The chiefs including Fa’amausili Moli Malietoa, Associate Minister, Seiuli Ueligitone Seiuli, and others turned up at Court only to be told the matter is listed on Thursday. 

A Court official informed the prosecutor and villagers the matter was not on the register’s list and proceedings will commence today.  

The village chiefs are charged for disobeying an interim order from the Land and Titles Court not to proceed with the bestowal of the Malietoa title conferred to Fa’amausili last year. 

According to the Police affidavit, on 17 August 2018, the defendants of Malie by an unlawful act namely conducting the ceremony for the title bestowal of Malietoa Fa’amausili Moli defying the Court order directed to the village council of Malie, not to proceed with the ceremony. 

“(In doing so) disobeying the Interim Order issued by the Registrar of the Land and Titles Court on 16 August 2018, committing the crime of contempt of Court.”

In the Land and Titles Act 1981 section (49), Interim orders by President, states, upon the commencement of any proceedings and pending the final determination  of the petition by the Court, the President sitting alone may make, either ex parte or otherwise, such interim orders as the President thinks fit as to the possession of the land, or the using of the title, or the exercise of the right to which the petition relates. 

As Interim orders by Registrar under section (50), if the Registrar is satisfied that a dispute has arisen between Samoans which is within the jurisdiction of the Court, and is likely to be the subject matter of proceedings under this Act, he may, with the concurrence of the President or 2 Samoan Judges before the commencement of proceedings, make an order as he thinks fit to restrain any Samoan from: (a) remaining in possession of or entering upon any land; 

(b) holding or using any Samoan name or title; or (c) exercising any right or doing any act, matter or things concerning or affecting any land or any Samoan name or title. 

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