5 Mar 2014

Samoa cabinet minister fails to overturn defamation ruling

4:34 pm on 5 March 2014

Samoa's former Red Cross president and the present Associate Minister for Trade, Muagututagata Peter Ah Him, has failed in an appeal against a Supreme Court ruling that dismissed his claim for compensation over defamation.

Muagututagata and five other board members who were removed by the local Red Cross had claimed the organisation's publication of allegations that they had misappropriated funds and misused their power warranted compensation of a quarter of a million US dollars.

There have never been any criminal charges brought over the allegations but the minister and others had sought compensation for defamation.

The court of appeal in a ruling awarded four of the plaintiffs 500 US dollars each plus legal costs to a total amount of five thousand dollars.

But Muagututagata has failed to overturn the original court decision and he has been ordered to pay the respondents 10 thousand US dollars in legal costs.