2 Mar 2020

Security tightened around Samoan PM

3:54 pm on 2 March 2020

Samoa's police commissioner has increased security for Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi after two suspects accused of conspiring to assassinate him were granted bail.

Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi. Photo: Samoa Govt

The move came about after advice from the Attorney General to the Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil.

In a release, the government said Attorney General Lemalu Herman Retzlaff had issued advice in response to the release of Malele Atofu Paulo and Lema'i Faioso Sione who are facing a joint charge of conspiring to assassinate the prime minister.

The statement said the Supreme Court did not accept there was a risk of harm to the prime minister, despite opposition from police and the attorney general's office.

Lemalu said he spoke to the police commissioner to advise him security around the prime minister should be increased, as the file evidence spoke of alleged incidents of armed scoping of him both at home and in public.

The attorney general said his office was investigating whether the granting of bail could be appealed.

Meanwhile, the trial for Malele and Lema'i has been set for 9 November.

The trial will begin after the court sentences Taualai Leiloa on 2 November, who has already pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge.

Taualai is due to give evidence for the prosecution in support of the same charge against Malele Atofu Paulo and Lema'i Sione Faioso.

Samoa's Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil.

Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil. Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

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