SAMOAN CABINET MINISTER INVOLVED IN LUAGALAU ASSASSINATION UNABLE TO MAKE PLEA WITHOUT

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LAWYER

APIA, Samoa (August 17, 1999 – Radio Australia)---A former Samoan cabinet minister accused of murdering a fellow minister and inciting another person to murder the Prime Minister, has appeared in the Supreme Court in Apia.

However, he was unable to make a plea because a lawyer cannot be found to represent him.

Former Telecommunications Minister, 67-year-old Toi Aukuso, earlier made two other appearances on charges that he murdered and conspired to murder Public Works Minister Luagalau Levaula Kamu.

Luagalau was gunned down by a single shot to the back at a ruling political party function on July 18.

Last week, Toi also was charged with inciting another person, unnamed, to murder Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Maliegaoi.

Former Women’s Affairs Minister Leafa Vitale has pleaded not guilty to the murder and conspiracy charges while his son, Eletise Leafa Vitale, pleaded guilty to the murder charge and was last week sentenced to death by hanging.

Justice Andrew Wilson adjourned Toi’s case to August 25, while a lawyer is sought.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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