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Maulolo Tavita and Matua Toaloa summoned for contempt of Court

Two high chiefs of Afega, Maulolo Tavita and Matua Toalua, have been summoned for contempt of Court. 

They are scheduled to appear in the District Court next month.

This was confirmed by Police Commissioner, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil.

“I can confirm there was a summon this week on Maulolo,” he said. “It is for contempt of Court.”

The summon is in connection to an interim injunction order issued by the Acting President of the Lands and Titles Court, Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma.

Dated 24th June 2019, the Court ordered Maulolo Tavita and Matua Toalua to stop the construction of a school hall on a piece of land called Mauti’eti’e in Afega.

The order said Leulua’iali’i Tasi Malifa and Fata Ryan Schuster had informed the Land and Titles Court that a Court ruling on the land in question was pending. They also claimed they are waiting for a survey by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on the land.

For these reasons, Acting President Fepulea’i ordered Maulolo and Matua to immediately cease work on the land.

“This order is to keep the peace on this matter in accordance with the law,” a translation of the order reads.

“I, Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma, the President of the Lands and Titles Court order Maulolo Tavita and Matua Toalua to stop the construction of the school hall or any work conducted on the Mautietie land, while a Court ruling is pending and a survey by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.”

Fepulea’i reminded that the violation of the order would be subject to contempt of Court, punishable by up to six months in jail and or monetary fine of up to $500.

The order was attached to a complaint sent to the Commissioner of Police on 28th June 2019 signed by the Acting C.E.O. of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Leota Pelenato Paulo.

The Acting C.E.O. requested help from the Police to investigate the complaint lodged by Leuluaiali’i and Fata Ryan against Maulolo and Matua, alleging that Maulolo and Matua had violated the Court order.

Police Commissioner Fuiava told the Samoa Observer their office received the complaint and it was referred to the Criminal Investigation Division.

“They investigate further to confirm the complaint and then act accordingly within the law,” he said.

“We don’t just go out and serve summons based on Court orders.”

Maulolo and Matua are scheduled to appear in the District Court next month.

Attempts to get comments from them were unsuccessful.

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