5 Dec 2006

Samoa Electoral court found woman MP guilty of bribery and treating

6:41 pm on 5 December 2006

Samoa's Electoral court has declared void the election of the respondent and woman MP, Letoa Rita Pa'u Chang, in an election petition ruling delivered this afternoon.

The MP was found guilty of eight of the nine counts of bribery and treating filed by the petitioner, Papalii Samuelu Petaia.

But the court has dismissed all counter allegations filed by the MP and first respondent against the petitioner, Papalii Samuelu Petaia.

Letoa was elected in a by-election held in September for Fa'asaleleaga number two constituency when her father and former MP, Pa'u Sefo Pa'u, was also found guilty of the same charges in another election petition filed following the result of the general election in March.

The ruling today has also ordered the respondent to pay costs of fifteen hundred US Dollars to the petitioner.

Meanwhile a second by-election for Fa'asalele'aga number two constituency has been ordered by the court.