29 Aug 2008

Samoa chief convicted over confrontation with police

1:47 pm on 29 August 2008

A 72-year-old village chief and orator of Falelatai village in Samoa, Nanai Lopa, has been convicted of three charges including throwing objects, objection and uttering swear words to the police.

The accused had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges when the prosecution had withdrawn one count of arson because of lack of evidence.

The offences were related to the alleged burning three years ago of the house of a village chief, Misa Pita Anae, who is also a senior judge of the Lands and Titles Court.

The accused, according to police, was among several other village matais and untitled men of Falelatai who blocked the road, threw stones at police cars and a fire truck on the night of the fire.

The cases of six other village chiefs and an untitled man or taule'ale'a from the same village are still being heard.

They are facing charges of arson and violence.

Nanai Lopa has been to pay a fine of just under 200 US dollars.