Satiu Simativa Perese is Samoa's new Chief Justice
In the midst of the State of Emergency, Samoa’s Chief Justice has been confirmed as Satiu Simativa Perese, a New Zealand based lawyer.
The announcement comes some 10 months since the seat was first vacated.
The appointment was confirmed by the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi.
“These appointments as stated earlier, it takes time to seek God’s face and turn to the bible for guidance. And these things take time and the whispers [from the Holy Spirit]," Tuilaepa said.
The new Chief Justice is from Fagaloa and Maagiagi".
Satiu studied for his Bachelor's of Laws degree at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.
“There were five applicants and two local applicants and the rest from overseas and we concluded to appoint a High Chief from Fagaloa, Satui Simativa Perese," he said.
“He will start as the new Chief Justice in three weeks”
The previous Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu, who officially concluded his term in office 10 months ago after 26 years on the bench.
The Prime Minister thanked the Acting Chief Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson, for maintaining the position when the seat was vacant.
Satui was admitted to the New Zealand bar in 1990, and he practised as a lawyer initially as Assistant Crown Counsel at the Crown Law Office, then as a solicitor for a medium-sized firm in Auckland.
In 1995 Satiu was the first person of Samoan ethnicity to be awarded a Harkness Fellowship by the Commonwealth Fund based in New York, USA.
Satiu has appeared at all levels of Courts in New Zealand, Samoa (where he is also admitted as a barrister) and the Cook Islands.
He studied at Columbia University Law School in New York where he gained a Master's degree in law and a Certificate of Achievement with Honours in Foreign and International Law.
Satiu also prosecuted cases in Samoa as Independent Prosecutor hired by the Attorney General’s office.
According to Mr Satiu’s website, he conducted criminal and complex fraud trials and land law cases in Samoa and the Cook Islands, as well as being admitted to the Bar in Samoa in 1999.
This story has been amended to reflect the spelling of Satiu's name.