Pig head thrower arrested over alleged P.M. assassination plot

The man who threw a pig's head at the Prime Minister during a Samoa Airways function in Australia, Talalelei Pauga, has been arrested in Australia over an alleged plot to assassinate Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

The arrest was confirmed by the Australian government in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.

“We confirm that Talalelei Pauga was arrested in Queensland on 20 August 2020 in response to an extradition request made by Samoa,” a spokesperson for the Australian Attorney General’s Department said.

“Talalelei Pauga is wanted to face prosecution in Samoa for the offence of conspiracy to murder. 

“As the matter is ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment further.”  

Multiple emails to Attorney General, Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale and Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil requesting comments since last week were not responded to. 

Pauga, who is also known as ninja, is one of three other defendants being accused of conspiring to murder Prime Minister Tuilaepa in August last year. 

Former Assistant Attorney General, Magele Leone Mailo-Su’a, had filed an extradition order for Pauga in September. 

King Faipopo, whose real name is Malele Paulo, Lemai Faioso Sione and Taualai Leiloa are the other defendants.

Paulo and Lemai have already pleaded not guilty to the charges while Leiloa has entered a guilty plea to two counts of conspiracy to murder Tuilaepa. 

Pauga is the man who threw a pig’s head at Tuilaepa during his visit to Brisbane in 2018. 

A year later when he visited Samoa, Pauga was charged for making a false declaration on the arrival card. 

He was convicted and fined $2,400 over the immigration offence. 

It wasn’t longer after Pauga returned to Australia that allegations surfaced of a conspiracy from the men to assassinate Tuilaepa. 

Police had alleged that money changed hands between the alleged conspirators.

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