3 Jul 2006

Group of Samoan matais to appeal banishment order

9:34 am on 3 July 2006

A group of matais in Samoa are considering filing a petition to the Lands and Titles Court to stop a village council decision to banish 15 matais and their families.

The village council of Satapuala decided to banish the group because they did not support the high chief in the village, who was a candidate in this year's election.

Former cabinet minister, To'alepaialii Si'ueva is the high chief of the village and also the leader of the Samoa Political Progressive Party.

To'alepaialii has already filed two petitions with the Lands and Titles Court, one is to legalise the council's decision.

But one of the matai's the council has penalised, says they will file a petition asking the Lands and Titles Court to stop the move.

Our correspondent in Samoa, Autagaivaia Tipi Autagavaia has more.

"Well, I think they were filing the petitions and went it arrives in the Lands and Titles Court, who will decide whether to allow the decision or to say this is against the Constitution."

The Lands and Titles court rejected a similar decision by the village council of Lepea to ban a matai.