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P.M. to testify in trial of King Faipopo

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, who is also the complainant in a criminal libel case against King Faipopop, will give evidence in the hearing set for 22nd July 2019.

King Faipopo, whose real name is Malele Atofu Paulo, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to two additional charges against him in relation to a recent social media post targeting the Prime Minister. 

The additional charges are on top of 13 initial charges against Paulo who is accused of making false statements designed to harm Tuilaepa's reputation.

Paulo, who is represented by lawyers, Unasa Iuni Sapolu and Josefina Fuimaono Sapolu, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. 

Attorney General’s lawyer, Iliganoa Atoa is the prosecutor. 

District Court Judge, Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i is presiding.

Ms. Atoa told the Court that the complainant Tuilaepa is not available from June until the end of July. 

She said during that period the country is hosting the Pacific Games. 

Judge Alalatoa then scheduled the hearing for all the charges against Paulo to be heard on 22 July. 

At this point, Unasa asked that the prosecution to disclose the affidavit of one defendant by the name Tagaloa Vito Visesio. She said the defendant was not aware of this person. 

In response, Ms. Atoa assured that the affidavit will be served before the end of the week. 

Earlier on, Judge Alalatoa also clarified her orders in relation to a bail condition on Paulo in using social media. 

She said the order was to forbid him from posting "adverse posts" against anyone on Facebook and other social media forums. 

“There was no blanket order to stop him from using social media,” said Judge Alalatoa. 

“The order dated 27 May, was clear that the first condition is he is forbidden from posting any adverse posts on social media against any persons by using any device against. 

“It was clear that he is allowed to use the internet to access his email or Facebook but not post any adverse posts against anyone.” 

Malele then raised his hand and told the Judge that he was confused if this means that he can also share other people’s posts. 

But Judge Alalatoa warned him of sharing social media posts as it is contributing to adverse actions of others. 

Paulo is remanded in bail pending his hearing on 22 July 2019. 

Prosecution will be calling about 10 witnesses which include the Prime Minister.   

On the other hand, the defense will also be calling their own witnesses. 

The trial is scheduled to go on for a week. 

It was just last week that the District Court dismissed a motion filed by Paulo for exclusion of jurisdiction claiming the posts he made targeting the Prime Minister was created and posted when he was in Australia. 

The District Court ruled that although the video was posted by Paulo whilst in Australia, the direct and indirect consequence from posting the video viewed by the world was felt by the Prime Minister in Samoa. 

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