Court ruling

Russian superyacht leaves Fiji for US following a court ruling

Fiji's Supreme Court lifted a stay order which had prevented the U.S. from seizing the superyacht Amadea.

A US Justice Department's Taskforce has focused on seizing yachts and other luxury assets of Russian oligarchs in a bid to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine.

The 106m Amadea arrived in Fiji on 13 April after an 18-day voyage from Mexico.

It was seized by Fiji authorities after the country's High Court granted a US warrant last month that linked the yacht to sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.

Samoan court rules Parliament will have three new women MPs

The Samoa Observer reports the decision means the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) will have two new members, Aliimalemanu Alofa Tu'uau and Fa'agaseali'i Sapo'a Feaga'i, while the ruling FAST party has one additional member, Toomata Norah Leota.

This boosts the number of seats in Parliament to 54.

The decision, however, makes little difference to FAST's majority as it now has 31 seats to the HRPP's 22.

One seat is yet to be decided with the pending by-election for the Gagaifomauga 2 seat which became vacant after Va'ele Iona Sekuini died suddenly last month.

Samoa to have final ruling on FAST swearing-in

The Court of Appeal today granted applications from the Attorney General to hear an appeal and stay of execution against the Supreme Court's 28 June ruling that parliament must sit by 4pm Monday, 5 July.

The Supreme Court judged that a breach of its ruling would compel the court to revisit FAST's ad hoc swearing-in on 24 May, and find in the newcomer party's favour.

Parliament to convene in 7 days a 'stepping stone' for Samoa

The courts decision is expected to end a nearly three month long political and constitutional crisis, which Political Scientist Doctor Christina Laalaai-Tausa says is a huge relief.

​"It comes as huge relief for Samoans both locally and internationally, and hopefully is a stepping stone for things to go forward politically and legally."

PMN News reports whilst relieved, Laalaai-Tausa says the court order should have been specific about a date, to kick start the political process.

She says political stability is needed now.

Samoa's FAST party seeks clarification of court ruling

An Appeal Court decision last week upheld the Suypreme Court's earlier voiding of an extra women's seat in the wash-up from April's national election.

The ruling meant the FAST party maintained its majority of 26 seats in the 51-seat Parliament.

But the court also ruled that six rather than five women MPs was the correct number under Samoa's system providing for 10 percent of parliamentary seats to be reserved for women.

The FAST Party deputy leader Laauli Leuatea Polataivao said the caucus was awaiting the court's clarification.

PNG Supreme court rules Australian offshore detention centre illegal

The five-man bench ruled that the detention breached the right to personal liberty in the Constitution. Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, Justices Sir Bernard Sakora, Ambeng Kandakasi, Don Sawong and Terence Higgins also ordered that both Australia and Papua New Guinea Governments take all necessary steps to stop the operations of the regional processing centre.

Around 900 men are in the detention center on the Papua New Guinean Island, according to Australian immigration authorities.