28 May 2020

Former Samoan minister and business associates to face court in June

3:20 pm on 28 May 2020

Former Samoan Cabinet Minister and Speaker, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt, and four business acquaintances, will know their fate on 15 June when the Acting Chief Justice rules in a criminal case against them.

Samoa’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries

Samoa’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Photo: RNZ Pacific / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Laaulialemalietoa's wife Heather Tupea Schmidt, journalist Apulu Polu, and businessmen Martin Schwalger and Tuitui Aiolupo, are facing more than 230

charges between them over a failed nonu export business.

These range from forgery, theft, deception and they have all pleaded not guilty.

The matter stems from an ongoing dispute over nonu export company Local Partners and Associates between the charged partners and another of their business associates, Associate Minister Peseta Vaifou Tevaga.

The five appeared before the Supreme Court this week for a bail hearing before having the matter scheduled for June.