25 Mar 2019

Samoa defamation trial brought forward

3:11 pm on 25 March 2019

The criminal defamation case in Samoa of a man living in Australia, Malele Atofu Paulo, who also calls himself King Faipopo, has been brought forward to April instead of July.

The man who calls himself King Faipopo

The man who calls himself King Faipopo Photo: RNZ Pacific /Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

This came in court today after an application by the defendant to leave the jurisdiction and return for the hearing was withdrawn.

Mr Malele has entered a not guilty plea to fifteen charges including defaming Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, by making accusations on social media.

He accused the prime minister of being involved in a plot to assassinate his uncle the late minister of Works Luagalau Leva'ula Kamu.

Two cabinet ministers, Toi Aukuso Cain and Le'afa Vitale served lengthy prison terms for masterminding Luagalau's murder in 1999, in which Tuila'epa was believed to have been the intended target.

The court has ordered the prosecution lawyer to serve all trial documents to the defence by Friday this week to allow for the trial on the 25 and 26 of April.

The police have five witnesses but the defence so far has none.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs