King Faipopo

Samoa PM assassination plot accused granted bail

The alleged plotters, Malele Atofu Paulo also known as King Faipopo and Lema'i Faioso Sione, have been in custody for six months after police arrested them last August.

Malele and Lema'i were released on strict conditions including not to interfere with Tuilaepa or police witnesses.

They are also ordered not to post on social media anything that could interfere or relate to the pending trial.

Samoa police to charge two suspects over alleged plot to assassinate PM

This was confirmed by Samoa's acting police commissioner, Papalii Monalisa Keti.

However she said the Attorney General, Lemalu Herman Retzlaff, is reviewing the file before the police will carry out the normal procedure for filing the charges.

Since last night, police have arrested two suspects in relation to the case: Malele Atofu Paulo, also known as King Faipopo; and Lema'i Faioso Sione.

The pair are in police custody.

Police have released few details on the alleged plot, which came to light two days ago.

Samoa's 'King Faipopo' considers withdrawing guilty plea

This comes as Paulo considers vacating the guilty plea his lawyer entered last week.

The sentencing was scheduled for Thursday but adjourned and now the defence lawyers have made an application to withdraw from representing Paulo because of his desire to vacate the guilty plea.

The court was told a restorative justice process, which was to be carried out by a psychologist, did not go ahead, because of some critical issues with the defendant.

King Faipopo trial seeks cultural solution

The trial was scheduled to start on Monday but the court accepted an application to adjourn to allow the Malele Atofu, otherwise known as King Faipopo, to make an approach to the Prime Minister to see if the matter could be resolved using Samoan customs.

The accused is facing 11 charges under the criminal libel law for defaming Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi on social media.

He has pleaded not guilty.

The court will hear today about the results of the cultural mediation approach.


Photo file RNZI      

Samoa court forbids King Faipopo from posting on social media

Arrested for a second time last Thursday, he faces 13 charges of making false and defamatory comments against the Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

Justice Alalatoa Rosella Papalii has imposed a bail condition that the defendant not publish on social media until his case is heard.

The prosecution ealrier raised concern that if released on bail, Mr Atofu would continue what they called potentially defamatory social media rants.

Mr Atofu, an Australian resident who was originally arrested on arrival in Samoa last year, entered a not guilty plea.

Samoa's King Faipopo faces new charges over social media rant

His lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu, said her client is facing new charges of making a defamatory post on Facebook.

Unasa is accusing the police of abuse of power and she alleges the Prime Minister who is also the minister of police is behind the latest arrest of her client.

The Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, is overseas and was unable to respond to the allegation.

But Tuila'epa was involved in a previous case where it's alleged he was defamed in a social media video rant by King Faipopo, resulting in his arrest three months ago.