King Faipopo keeps the faith

LT
By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia – Ah Tong, 11 February 2019

Malele Paulo – better known as King Faipopo – is keeping his faith in God as he waits for his Court appearance next month. 

He was at the Court House in Mulinu’u yesterday to support the Samoa Solidarity International Group (S.S.I.G) lawsuit before the Supreme Court. 

He said he is not worried about the allegations of defamation filed by Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi against him. 

“I still keep my faith in God,” he said. 

“Before I came (to Samoa) there is nothing that will stop me from coming (to Samoa). Make sure you guys believe that there is a God serving his people, and we do the right thing and God will not leave me alone.” 

His lawyer Unasa Iuni Sapolu confirmed that Mr. Paulo will appear in the District Court on March 5, and added that she will seek verification of bail for Mr. Paulo – if he can leave the country to go back to work in Australia, and return for his court appearance.    

One of Mr. Paulo’s bail condition is that he surrenders his passport and to sign with the Police station every Friday.

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He was released last week to attend his mother’s funeral after he spent Friday in Police custody.  

Mr. Paulo who lives in Australia and holds a New Zealand passport arrived in Samoa on Thursday.

“Because of public interest and media enquiries received, the Samoa Police Service (‘SPS’) can confirm that a Mr Malele Atofu Paulo (m) 45 years of Vailoa Aleipata – has been charged pursuant to section 117A of the Crime Ac – with making false Statements with the intention of causing harm to a member of our Samoan communities' reputation, by defaming them,” a Police statement said. 

“Police investigations started in August 2018 when a complaint was filed by Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi with police in relation to alleged defamatory statements, made by the defendant.” 

The Police said Mr. Paulo had publicly said “that the complainant, committed murder, corruption, theft, gun smuggling and other statements that are strongly denied by the complainant. 

“If convicted the defendant is liable to a fine not exceeding 175 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months per charge.”

The Police also used the opportunity to issue a warning about the abuse of social media.

“The damage that defamatory statements on social media outlets and cyber bullying has done to several members of the community is a matter that these laws are designed to address,” the statement said. 

“Where complaints are laid with the police, we will do our best to assist those being victimised on social media platforms by any false statements. 

LT
By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia – Ah Tong, 11 February 2019

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