King Faipopo to meet with P.M. Tuilaepa

The District Court has heard that King Faipopo also known as Malele Atofu Paulo was scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

The meeting is to discuss a resolution into a matter, where Paulo is facing 15 charges for allegedly making false statements that damaged the reputation of the Prime Minister. 

Malele pleaded not guilty to all the criminal libel charges against him. 

The matter, which was set down for hearing on Monday before the Court, is adjourned to Tuesday to allow the meeting between the complainant and defendant. 

District Court Judge, Alalatoa Rosella Papali’I presided with lawyer Unasa Iuni Sapolu representing Paulo, saying there is an outstanding conversation between the complainant and defendant. 

“That has to happen outside of Court,” said Unasa. 

“In saying that your Honour, an adjournment is appropriate so that conversation to soalaupule (resolve) can take place.” 

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Lead prosecutor and Attorney General, Lemalu Herman Retzlaff told the Court that the prosecution was ready to proceed. 

He was assisted by lawyer Iliganoa Atoa. 

Lemalu said whilst prosecution is ready to proceed there is a possible resolution. 

Judge Alalatoa then granted the adjournment to Tuesday to allow the parties to meet. 

When the matter was stood down from May for hearing on Monday, prosecution said the Prime Minister – who is the complainant in the matter – will give evidence. 

Malele initially faced 13 charges, in relation to a social media post that he made targeting Tuilaepa, while he was in Australia. 

Upon his return to Samoa earlier this year for his mother’s funeral, Malele was charged and arrested. 

Whilst in Samoa waiting for his trial, Malele made another post also directed at the Prime Minister and was charged with two additional charges.  

An order was then imposed by the District Court to prohibit him from making adverse posts against anyone on Facebook or on any other social media forums. 

Judge Alalatoa made it clear that the order means that he can still use social media but is prohibited from making adverse statements on social media. 

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