Samoa Caretaker Prime Minister, former Speaker, AG and Clerk sued for contempt of Court

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The Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi –( FAST) party has lodged a contempt application in Court against the Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and former Parliament Speaker Toleafoa Faafisi.

Also included in the contempt application are the Attorney General, Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Tiatia Lima Gramme Tualaulelei.

The FAST leader and Prime Minister elect, Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa confirmed the application to charge the four accused for failing to uphold the decisions of the Supreme Court.

“We now await when the Court can hear the application,” she said in a weekend press conference.

Mata’afa said Tuilaepa has said a lot in public to ridicule and belittle the integrity of the judiciary and decisions of the Court other than upholding those decisions.

“This should not happen especially from those who have held respectful and influential positions in Government,” said Mata’afa.

Last Tuesday, Tuilaepa attacked the judiciary and judges of the Supreme Court for ‘aligning itself’ with the FAST by walking to parliament on Monday and confirming the parliament chambers doors were locked. Tuilaepa then named four judges and why he thought they had a bias against his government.

The Attorney General also applied in court to recuse all the Supreme Court judges for the same reason. Her office also put out a damaging press release last Thursday against the judiciary which was later recalled and she apologised to the Chief Justice and the court saying the press release was not authorised.

All FAST MP’s are facing charges for taking part in the swearing-in ceremony on Monday 24 May which the Attorney General and Tuilaepa said was “treasonous and unconstitutional.”

Mata’afa said the MP’s and the lawyers that conducted the swearing in of the Speaker, Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu and Matafeo George Latu are charged separately.

Using the Principle of Necessity, the group of 26 MPs made a Resolution to appoint a Public Notary in Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu, a former Attorney General, to swear in the Speaker, Papalii Li’o Ta’eu Masepa’u who then swore in the rest of the FAST Members of Parliament, the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Mata’afa told the media that some of of the party have received summons whilst others have not.

“We want to speed up this legal process so some of us went to the Attorney General’s office only to be told by the staff that they were not aware of such a case,” said Fiamē.

This made Mata’afa wonder where the Attorney General was preparing these matters from, whether her office of Tuilaepa’s office.

The Attorney General is challenging the legitimacy of the swearing in ceremony in Court and is one of the two major cases that arose from the 09 April 2021 general election.

Meanwhile, the Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has reminded the Head of State, Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aleto’a Sualauvi 11 that Samoa has only one Prime Minister.

In a brief letter to the Head of State, dated 28 May 2021, he said “only you can swear in a Prime Minister and there is only one Prime Minister of Samoa.”

Tuilaepa’s letter warned of the stance taken by the Fa’atuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party leader Fiamē Naomi Mataafa asking for a meeting with the Head of State.

On Thursday, 27 May 2021, Mata’afa wrote to the Head of State asking for a meeting with him and discuss the transition of the new Government.

She also reminded him that his Office, that is independent from the caretaker government that no longer has the support of the country and without the power as they previously had, should perform its duties for the good of the country.

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS