Afega Chiefs face charges
Two Chiefs from Afega have been charged by the Police in connection with an incident that occurred last November.
Leulua’ialii Tasi Malifa and Fata Ryan Schuster have been charged with District Court offences, according to the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil.
Responding to questions from the Samoa Observer, the Commissioner said: “They have since been bailed from custody by a Deputy Court Registrar.”
The complainant in the matter is a Maulolo Tavita, also from Afega.
The Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration’s Assistant C.E.O., Ve'ataulia Fa'atasi Puleiata, told the Samoa Observer that Fata is charged with allegedly using insulting words and Leulua’ialii faces one charge of alleged common assault.
“They will appear in court on 26 May, 2020 in the District Court for mention,” said Ve'atauia.
The Samoa Observer contacted the accused in the matter for comments and Fata said the alleged incident occurred in November last year.
"They were trying to survey our land," he said.
“This [allegedly] happened in front of our house in Afega on our land called the Tanumafili Tolotolo.
“We [have filed] a criminal complaint in this matter".
Leulua’ialii, a lawyer by profession, told Samoa Observer that the allegations are baseless and the two were charged under "fabricated evidence".
"The Police did not do their investigation properly," he said.
"If they did; they would have found court rulings of more than 100 years old from the Land and Titles Court ruled that the land in question belongs to my family.
"The [complainant] trespassed onto my land, what am I supposed to do, let them survey my family land? Any one would have reacted the way I did, but I did not assault anyone."