11 Dec 2006

Samoa's former Airport Authority boss and MP awaits sentence

12:33 pm on 11 December 2006

Samoa's former Airport Authority manager and Independent MP, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, is awaiting a Supreme Court sentence over charges of theft as a servant.

The former boss has denied the charge which relates to an advance of 16-thousand US Dollars he had approved for the purchase of his own vehicle from the government's airport authority funds in 2002.

The court has heard that the full amount borrowed was repaid in 2003.

During his hearing last week the court dismissed two counts of falsifying accounts against the MP because of lack of police evidence.

But the Chief Justice, Patu Falefatu Sapolu, has ruled there is a case to answer for the remaining charge of theft as a servant.

Lealailepule told the court that the charges against him were politically motivated and aimed at discouraging him from running in this year's general election.