11 Sep 2014

Charges against Samoa minister dropped

3:24 pm on 11 September 2014

Samoa's associate minister of women's affairs and social development is relieved that a charge of uttering insulting words has been dropped.

The trial against Gatoloaifa'ana Amataga Gidlow had been scheduled for Tuesday this week, but the prosecution presented a letter from the complainant, asking for the charge to be dismissed.

In court today, the parties involved were told that the acting police commissioner had accepted the letter, and the matter has now been withdrawn.

Our correspondent, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says the court heard the dispute was a family matter.

"The complainant, he is a relative of the woman MP, he is one of the elders in the MP's family, but there was an exchange of words because of some family matters being discussed. So there was a reconciliation between the parties, and the complainant decided to have the complaint withdrawn.

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says Gatoloaifa'ana said through her lawyer that she's happy with the outcome.

Uttering insulting words can carry a penalty of up to three months in prison, or a fine.