Pivotal court hearing today in Samoa

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A Supreme Court hearing in Samoa today will determine if the caretaker prime minister will face criminal contempt proceedings.

Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, as well as the attorney general, parliament’s former speaker and its clerk are to appear for preventing parliament from convening on 24 May as the court ordered.

A substantive Supreme Court hearing today will probe the roles played by the four in defying the 23 May order that the 17th parliament convene the next day and members be sworn in.

The contempt citation was brought by election winner FAST in an attempt to prevent Tuilaepa and his HRPP members defying another order for parliament to convene by last Monday.

Parliament again did not sit.

The court will decide the extent of their roles and whether criminal contempt applies.

The result will likely directly impact the Court of Appeal’s Friday hearing to determine if FAST’s impromptu swearing-in on 24 May be recognised.

SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS