Charged Samoan man disputes arrest warrant

One of three men charged jointly with conspiring to murder former Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, is disputing the authenticity of his arrest warrant.

Samoa Observer reports Talalelei Pauga, who is currently in Australian police custody awaiting extradition, had his application heard by Justice Lesatele Rapi Va'ai in the Supreme Court last Thursday.

Lawyer Tufuga Fagaloa Tufuga, acting for Pauga, told the court his client claims the arrest warrant was not properly issued as it was signed by a court registrar and not by a judge of the court.

The court was told Pauga has a pending hearing in Australia on the extradition order which is scheduled for June.

This prompted Justice Va'ai to suggest the application from the defence is an abuse of process that interferes with developments in Australia.

The Attorney General's office is opposing the application saying the defendant's application has no merit and grounds.