A prominent woman lawyer in Samoa says she paid a fine after being accused of adultery for the sake of her family.
The woman says she considered fighting the penalty when the council of chiefs of Leulumoega village raised the accusations.
Leilani Momoisea reports:
"The lawyer, who does not want to be named, says she was told by family that she had been fined 500 US dollars, following a village council meeting at which she was not present. This was following allegations of an affair with a married businessman. She says she disagrees with the decision of a fine based on adultery, as she is not married herself, and while she respects the village council she has not lived in Leulumoega for 27 years. The lawyer says however, she paid the fine immediately because her family still live in the village. She says the village accepted her payment, extended gratitude towards her and wished her well, and she considers the matter dealt with. There had been reports that the village had said the alleged adultery had degraded the value of the matai title she holds, but she says she doesn't hold any title of any kind. She says Leulumoega village does not give matai titles to women."