P.M. warns plotters they'll be caught

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has warned those that conspire to harm him will always be caught. 

“It is important to note that when you are involved in a conspiracy to do bad things, you will get caught in the middle of it all,” he said speaking on TV3 on Wednesday. 

The Prime Minister was referring to the case of Talalelei Pauga, 43, who is facing an extradition hearing in Australia for his role in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister. 

“The Australia judiciary is quite different from ours [...and] they have their own laws and so we wait,” the Prime Minister said. 

“I have not been informed of any decision.”

A spokesperson for the Australian Attorney-General's office told the Brisbane Times that Talalelei is wanted and he’s "to face prosecution in Samoa for the offence of conspiracy to murder".

Lawyer, Marc McKechnie, appearing on behalf of the Samoan Government, told a Brisbane Court on Tuesday that Samoa had made a lawful request to extradite Pauga and Australia has to honour its obligations under international law.

McKechnie said the charges against Pauga were serious.

But Pauga’s lawyers, Greg Finlayson and George Mancini, disagreed. 

They argued before a Brisbane magistrate to release Pauga, arguing his detention was unlawful as he had not been brought before a magistrate upon his arrest, the local media report said. 

Pauga was taken into custody by Australian police on 20 August when Samoa made an extradition request to Australia's Federal Attorney-General's Department.

He has been remanded at Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre for almost five weeks. 

In November 2018, Pauga was charged by Queensland Police after he threw a pig's head at Malielegaoi at a Logan church, south of Brisbane.

Those charges were later dropped, but Pauga was arrested on 20 August after Samoa made the extradition request over an alleged conspiracy to murder.

During his radio program on Wednesday, the Prime Minister referenced the case where Cabinet Ministers were involved in the country’s first ever political assassination case.

He said that Toi Aukuso Cain conspired with Leafa Vitale to kill Luagalau Levaula Kamu.

“In the end, Koi did not follow through with the plan, but he did not report it to the Police or tell me, he wouldn’t [face any charges]. And the problem was when Alatise Vitale reported [to the Police] that it was Koi and Leafa that summoned him [for the purposes of assassination].”

“During the case, Koi assumed that he’s innocent, but he forgets that when you conspire to commit murder under the law you are involved and even though you did not play a part in carrying out the actual murder.”

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