14 Apr 2011

Samoa Police Minister enters not guilty plea to bribery charge

10:48 am on 14 April 2011

Samoa's Minister of Police and Prisons, Sala Fata Pinati, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of bribery relating to an alleged action by members of his campaign committee.

An unsuccessful Tautua Samoa party election candidate, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio, has brought the private prosecution against the Minister, who was the running candidate for the ruling HRPP party.

Our correspondent in Apia Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says Sala was strongly supported by constituents outside the district court yesterday.

"The private prosecution is based on allegations that members of his campaign committee gave 50 tala to a couple with the intention to bribe the couple to vote for the Minister of Police."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says the case returns to court on May the 18th and if found guilty Sala faces a two year jail term.