19 Aug 2019

Samoa village allows suspect in PM's assassination plot to return

11:12 am on 19 August 2019

A Samoan village has backtracked on a move to banish a villager allegedly involved in a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

Taualai Taualai is one of three suspects charged in connection with the foiled plot and was reportedly banned from his village of Lauli'i.

But the Samoa Observer reported the Lauli'i Village Council on Saturday allowed him to return after a request from the police.

Village mayor Fa'alogo Sasauli Moli said Mr Taualai's return was under strict conditions that he behaved himself while awaiting his court appearance.

The Laulii Village Council is also reportedly assisting with a police search for a gun linked to the assassination plot.

Mr Taualai and his co-defendants, blogger Malele Atofu Paulo and Samoa First candidate Lema'i Faioso Sione, will appear in court on 26 August.

Mr Paulo, also known as King Faipopo, has been detained, while Lema'i is remanded on bail.