28 Jan 2003

American Samoan court expected to deliver decision on reinstatement of dismissed Senator

11:40 am on 28 January 2003

American Samoa's Trial Court is expected to hand down a decision today on the Senate's motion to stay the court's ruling that Faamausili Pola is still a Senator and that he be reinstated.

Arguments on the motion were heard on Friday, with Faamausili's attorney, Charles Alailima, urging the court not to recognise an affidavit from the Senate President confirming a change in the record of the Senate vote to remove Faamausili

The original record showed 10 votes for dismissal and 5 votes against but at its meeting last Monday before the official opening of the Fono the Senate changed the record to show 12 votes for expulsion and four against.

This is exactly the two thirds majority vote required for the expulsion of a senator

Faamausili's lawyer said that by changing the record, the Senate had changed history and was a serious issue.

Attorney for the Senate,Robert Maez, said he took offence to the charge that the Senate had changed history, what the Senate had done was to correct history

He said Faamausili's selection was flawed and if the correct process was not followed it was like picking up anyone off the street and making him a Senator.