6 Jun 2008

Samoa judge declares conflict of interest in phone company case

8:36 am on 6 June 2008

The trial against the privately owned Digicel mobile phone company in Samoa has been adjourned to October for a new judge to preside over the case because the presiding district court judge, Vaepule Vaemoa Vaai, has declared his conflict of interest in the case.

The trial was scheduled to start yesterday with the police to call two witnesses to give evidence in support of two charges of alleged breach of the Gaming Act by the defendant relating to a promotion last year.

Two new cars were awarded by the company to winners of a last-man-standing competition to celebrate its one year birthday.

An investigation was then carried out by the police and the Attorney General's office after several complaints had been lodged.

The General Manager of the company in Samoa, Pepe Christian Fruean,

appeared on behalf of the company.