22 Feb 2010

Villagers in Samoa burn family homes over banishment decision

11:42 am on 22 February 2010

At least two men in Samoa from the village of Gataivai on Savaii island are in police custody following the burning of two homes of a family who disobeyed a village council eviction order.

The police say the family of Maposua Mulifusi has won a Lands and Titles court case against the village on a matai title dispute which has caused anger in several other village families.

The superintendent of police at Tuasivi, Papalii Tusimona Tinai, says police was unable to save the family homes because of the long distance between the head office and the village of Gataivai however an old woman and several children were taken away to safety.

More villagers are expected to be arrested and charged with arson as police continue their investigation.