17 Feb 2014

Samoa chiefs fail in appeal of damage payment

4:40 pm on 17 February 2014

A group of Samoan matais, which sued on behalf of the village council of Tanugamanono, has lost an appeal against a damages award it has pay for banishing a family from the village.

They are to pay about 400,000 US dollars in damages, including legal costs, to the family of Afu Faumuina Tutuila for the banishment and the destruction of their property, including houses and vehicles.

The 16 defendants, including two former MPs of the ruling HRPP party, had appealed against the original ruling by the Supreme Court.

The appeal has been dismissed but the amount of punitive damages has been cut by 50,000 US dollars.

The family has still not returned to the village after several clashes with the matais in the Lands and Titles court relating to the construction of a church hall on part of the family land.