Tribunal's decision on suspended lawyer kept secret

A tribunal that investigated allegations levelled against senior suspended lawyer, Maiava Visekota Peteru, has reached a decision.

But the Samoa Law Society President, Leiataualesa Komisi Koria, has refused to reveal the outcome of the tribunal’s investigation into allegations relating to the lawyer’s professional conduct. 

He said a statement will be issued to confirm the conclusion reached by the tribunal and added that a decision has been made following its investigation last month.

Asked who sits on the tribunal, Leiataualesa said the only permanent member is former Attorney General, Aumua Ming Leung Wai sitting with three other members. 

He did not name who the other tribunal members were. 

Attempts to get a comment from Maiava have been unsuccessful at press time. 

In light of the allegations against her, Maiava had earlier responded that she will respond to the allegations by the Samoa Law Society Council and appreciates that matters can be settled shortly. 

She also acknowledged the support of her family, church and community. 

The senior lawyer has been suspended since April last year pending an investigation into allegations against her. 

Leiataualesa had previously confirmed the society received complaints from members of the public in relation to the practitioner.

"These complaints are being handled in accordance with our Society’s regulatory framework," he said.

“Any charges of the Samoa Law Society are based on the offences in our act; there are only two offences. One is unsatisfactory of professional conduct and official misconduct and it’s either or”. 

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