5 Mar 2014

Samoa's deputy PM denies police evidence in court

6:49 am on 5 March 2014

Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister, Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, has vehemently denied in court all police evidence against him and his associate minister, Muagututagata Peter Ah Him.

Muagututagata is facing one count of failing to comply with the use of a breathalyzer and one count of obstructing police duties.

Fonotoe is charged with one count of obstructing the police.

The court heard evidence from 13 police officers supporting the two charges against the associate minister and one against the deputy prime minister.

Fonotoe and Muagututagata decided to give evidence after the presiding judge, Vaepule Alo Vaemoa Vaai, had ruled after the prosecution witnesses that there is strong evidence for a prima facie case against the pair.

Fonotoe told the court he had not obstructed police when they stopped the associate minister's car for an alcohol test last October.

He also denied telling the associate minister to drive away.

Four police officers gave evidence on Monday telling the court Fonoto's car had pulled over and tried to interfere with the performance of their duties.

The case is continuing.