Malele Atofu Paulo

Samoa's highest court approves closed bail hearing

Malele Atofu Paulo and co-defendant Lema'i Faioso are charged with conspiring to assassinate Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

They will appear in the Supreme Court in Apia on 29 November in a bail hearing, where media and the public are banned.

Malele, popularly known as King Faipopo, was last week jailed for seven weeks for defaming the prime minister.

Samoan blogger jailed for defaming PM

Malele Atofu Paulo, popularly known as King Faipopo, was sentenced in the Apia District Court today.

His lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu, says he was convicted of criminal libel by Judge Alalatoa Rosella Papali'i.

Unasa says the judgement was unfair because King Faipopo had only called Prime Minister Tui'laepa Sailele Malielegaoi a coward.

"Aiake in Samoan means coward, so this guy said you're a coward and you're a liar and you are cunning and you killed me uncle.

"So that's all he said. And she [Judge Alalatoa] came down hard on him."

Man pleads guilty to conspiring to assassinate Samoa PM

Taualai Leiloa, Malele Atofu Paulo and Lema'i Faioso Sione appeared in court together for the first time today.

Leiloa, from Laulii village, is accused of conspiring to commit murder with Talalelei Pauga, who resides in Australia, to assassinate Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

Police claim this is related to a time period between April and August this year.

Leiloa, who pleaded guilty, will be sentenced on the 30 September but a hearing date for Mr Paulo, also known as King Faipopo, and Mr Sione has yet to be confirmed.

Samoan assassination plot accused plead not guilty

The pair, Malele Atofu Paulo, also known as King Faipopo, and Lema'i Faioso Sione, are also facing a second charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

The two have been ordered to remain in custody until next Monday when they will appear for a plea hearing on the second charge.

The prosecution has opposed bail.

Meanwhile a third suspect, Taualai Leiloa, also known as Taualai Tuila'epa, has appeared separately on the same charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

Samoa police arrest King Faipopo as investigation into assassination plot continues

The police arrested Malele at the court house this morning after he appeared on earlier charges of making false accusations and defaming Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

More than ten officers, including police wearing civilian clothes, attended the arrest of the man whose King Faipopo moniker stems from his prominence on social media.

It's the second arrest by police, following last night's raid on the home of a candidate for the Samoa First political party in the Faasaleleaga by-election this year.

Lema'i Faioso is being questioned by police.

Anti-govt blogger 'King Faipopo' pleads guilty in Samoa


Malele Atofu Paulo, who's widely known as King Faipopo, appeared in court on Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty to one charge under the criminal libel law.

The attorney general dropped 14 other charges after negotiations that followed the defence announcement that it would seek a restorative justice process.

Malele will be sentenced on the 8 August.