Bribery charges against Samoa's PM and Minister of Agriculture dropped

Bribery charges against Samoa Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa and Minister of Agriculture La'auli Leuatea Schmidt have been officially withdrawn in the District Court.

The charges were filed by Elikapo Peni as a private prosecution based on allegations connected to the April 2021 General Elections.

The Samoa Observer reports the pair had entered not guilty pleas on the allegations.

Meanwhile, petitioner Peni also asked the court on Monday to withdraw 13 charges of bribery and one of treating against Minister for Public Enterprises, Leatinu'u Wayne So'oialo who had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Elikapo Peni had initially filed a total of 22 charges of bribery and treating against four other members of the FAST party.