4 Sep 2007

Top title row in Samoa taken to court

1:13 pm on 4 September 2007

Legal action against the bestowal of the Malietoa paramount title on the son of Samoa's late head of state is to go ahead after close to one hundred descendants of Malietoa Natuitasina agreed to remove the title from Papalii Fa'amausili Moli.

A representative of the Natuitasina clan says all members of their extended family voiced strong opposition during a huge family meeting last week in Sapapalii on Savaii.

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia reports from Apia.

"The representative who did not want to be named says the bestowal of the paramount title was not in accordance with the Lands and Titles Court ruling back in 1939. He says the ruling clearly says that after the reign of Malietoa Tanumafili II, who passed away in May, the three branches of the paramount title should decide and agree on who should be the next holder of the title. Reliable sources say the heirs of Malietoa Talavou and some heirs of Malietoa Vainu'upo are also opposed the bestowal of the title without the full consent and support of all family branches. The court action is expected to be heard in May next year."