Congregational Christian Church of Samoa

Samoa govt to continue to pursue tax case against church

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the government planned to pursue the church ministers individually in court.

Tuilaepa's comments come after last week's decision by the District Court to dismiss charges against a group of 19 ministers because of a lack of evidence.

In July the court dismissed charges against a separate group of 20 ministers.

Tuilaepa told Newsline Samoa charging the ministers as a group was a conscientious attempt not to embarrass their dignity by

serving each with a court summons.

Church hopes Samoa PM accepts court dismissal of tax charges

On Wednesday the District Court dismissed all charges against a second group of 19 ministers from the church.

The Ministry of Customs and Revenue asked the court for the charges to be withdrawn because of a lack of evidence.

Last month the court dismissed charges against the first group of 20 ministers.

Church General Secretary, Reverend Vavatau Taufao, says the result is good news.

Samoa church ministers plead not guilty to tax charges

The matter was called today for hearing of stay of proceedings and quash of charges applications.

But the preliminary hearing did not go ahead after the lawyer for the defendants asked for the applications to be withdrawn.

Several church elders as well as the chairman and his deputy are among the first group of twenty ministers facing criminal charges filed by the Ministry of Revenue.

They are refusing to pay the tax on their monthly earnings from contributions given by church members.


Man charged over Samoa church statue theft

RNZ reports Police said the alleged offence took place last Sunday morning and parts of the statue had been damaged.

A village source said the removal of Mary led to tension between members of the Si'ufaga parish and another parish of the Congregational Christian Church in the same district.

The minister of the Si'ufaga parish Reverend Opapo Soana'i was stripped of his pastoral duties recently by the Elders committee.

Samoa church reinstates one minister and stands down another

But another minister, Opapo Soana'i, has been stood down from the church.

RNZ reports the decisions were reached at a meeting of the church elders in Apia this week.

Last year, the High Court withdrew charges against Reverend Uili for sexual misconduct after court mediation found no proof in the allegations.

Meanwhile, Opapo Soana'i said he has not been informed officially of the decision to strip him of his pastoral duties but he believed he had not done anything wrong.

Congregational Christian Church of Samoa's General Secretary dismissed

According to Islands Business, Reverend Dr Afereti Uili is believed to have been dismissed by church elders on Tuesday night.

While the reasons for his dismissal remain sketchy, Uili is understood to have invoked the ire of elders by refusing to sign payments associated with renovations to the church headquarters in Apia.

Uili confirmed his removal to close friends and alleged that a group of senior church members had plotted his downfall for several months.