26 Sep 2008

Latest historical land dispute in Samoa adjourned

2:02 pm on 26 September 2008

A Court of Appeal hearing in Samoa of a strike out motion by the government over a customary land claim in Siumu has been adjourned following a court ruling on a similar case.

The strike out motion is over a transaction involving 400 hectares of land completed in 1890 when Samoa was ruled by Germany.

Earlier this week the Court of Appeal rejected an earlier claim in which the village council of Vailoa Palauli on Savaii argued that the land was custom held, was never lawfully alienated and couldn't therefore become freehold.

But the Court of Appeal judges have accepted that the transfer in 1886, under German law, was legitimate.

The strike out hearing had been set for this week but has been adjourned to allow the Siumu lawyers to consider the earlier decision.