26 Aug 2006

Samoa party leader pleads not guilty to criminal charges

6:08 am on 26 August 2006

Samoa's former government controller and chief auditor and leader of the Samoa party, Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong, has entered a not guilty plea to three criminal charges of bribery and treating.

Su'a's plea was entered by his lawyer, Ruby Drake, when the case was heard in the Supreme Court before chief justice, Patu Tiava'asu'e Falefatu Sapolu.

The case was first heard in the District Court but referred to the Supreme Court when a judge was unable to preside over the matter because of his personal connection to the parties involved.

The criminal charges were lodged by the former minister of Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Mulitalo Siafausa Vui, who was found guilty of bribery in an election petition brought against him by Su'a Rimoni.

Meanwhile the case has been adjourned to September twelve for hearing.