Chief Justice's return confirmed

The Chief Justice, His Honour Satiu Simativa Perese has received medical clearance allowing him to return to Samoa in April. 

The Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.), Moliei Simi Vaai confirmed the Chief Justice's would be returning on an upcoming repatriation flight. 

Ms. Vaai said the Chief Justice has been cleared and is scheduled to return on an April repatriation flight. 

Chief Justice Satiu was previously scheduled to arrive in February but a “minor procedure” further delayed his travels. 

Just months into his new role, the Chief Justice was hospitalised for “flu like symptoms” at the national hospital at Moto’otua in September last year. 

He then left Samoa in early October. In an email to other members of the national judiciary, he explained the decision of his departure arrived at after a thorough assessment by a cardiologist.

He was later discharged and flown to New Zealand following a thorough assessment by a cardiologist. 

“Typically, this treatment takes between 3 to 4 weeks,” he said at the time.

But a need for subsequent medical treatments delayed his return, which was originally forecast for February this year, as he recuperated at home in Auckland. 

Supreme Court Judge Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa was appointed the Acting Chief Justice for the duration of Chief Justice Satiu's absence. 

But the return of Justice Satiu was in March confirmed to have been further delayed after he underwent a "minor procedure" for medical treatment in New Zealand.

Justice Satiu's absence coincided with the departure of another Supreme Court Justice, Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke, who was given 12 months' study leave to pursue a Master’s degree in law. 

The Acting Chief Justice, Her Honour Niava Mata Tuatagaloa, Justice Vui Clarence Nelson and Justice Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma have served on the Supreme Court in the Chief Justice's absence. 

The Chief Justice was appointed in late March and he arrived in the country in May. He was sworn into office in June, 2020.

He took leave from the country while the judiciary was putting together a final submission in opposition to three pieces of legislation intended to restructure the national judiciary and establish an autonomous Land and Titles Court; bills which were passed into law by the legislature in December last year. 

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