7 Mar 2014

Samoa family gets court backing to keep church off its land

4:38 pm on 7 March 2014

Members of a church group in Samoa have been ordered not to enter the land of a family which had been banished from the village of Tanugamanono, but which was later awarded thousands in compensation.

The village matais had been ordered 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.

An appeal by the matais against the damages failed.

Now Samoa's Land and Titles court has issued an injunction stopping members of the Congregational Christian Church at Tanugamanono from doing any further work on the family's land.

A family member says they sought the order after church members continued cultivating the land, thinking the family would never return.