25 Jun 2012

Former opposition leader in Samoa escapes jail pay fine for bribery and treating charges

8:25 am on 25 June 2012

The Tautua Samoa party former leader and high ranking village chief, Vaai Papu Vaelupe, has escaped a jail sentence after being found guilty of bribery and treating.

Vaai Papu, and his sister Fo'ilagi Masoe, have been ordered by the court to pay fines.

The criminal charges were filed by the police following last year's general election, and the electoral court upholding the charges.

The former opposition leader was disqualified from holding Vaisigano number one parliamentary seat.

The court has fined Vaai Papu two and a half thousand US dollars and his sister 600 dollars with them to pay in full the amount in two weeks time or face a jail sentence.

The district court has another election bribery and treating case to be heard which is the case against the former Minister of Agriculture and fisheries, Seuala Taua Kitiona Tavaga.