30 Apr 2009

Court in Samoa reserves decision in compensation claim by SDPU leader

10:37 am on 30 April 2009

The Supreme Court in Samoa has heard legal submissions over a strike out motion by the Attorney General against a compensation claim by the leader of the Samoa Democratic United party.

Asiata Saleimoa Va'ai is seeking compensation over his four month suspension from parliament without pay in November 2005.

The SDUP leader's lawsuit is based on four causes of actions including alleged breaches of his constitutional rights, and that parliament had no lawful authority to suspend him.

However the Attorney General Aumua Ming Leung Wai's strike out motion is based on various grounds including that Asiata and his lawyers sued the wrong party and that they have no causes of action.

Aumua has also argued the claim by the SDUP leader is an abuse of the court's process.

But Asiata's lawyer says the claim is rightly against the previous speaker on behalf of parliament and there is no abuse of process.

The Australian judge presiding over the case, Murray Kellam, has reserved his decision on the matter.