CASH OFFERED FOR SAMOA ASSASSINATIONS

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APIA, Samoa (February 9, 2000 – South China Morning Post)---A farmer has testified that a former cabinet minister offered to pay him US$ 50,000 to assassinate Samoa's prime minister and minister for public works.

Eneliko Visesio told the Pacific Island nation's Supreme Court on Monday that Toi Aukuso Cain offered him the money to do "the job."

Mr. Visesio said that meant he was to kill Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malieolegaoi and Public Works Minister Luagalau Levaula Kamu. He offered no explanation as to why he did not accept the offer.

The farmer is a prosecution witness at the trial of former women's affairs minister Leafa Vitale, 56, and former communications minister Cain, 67, for the murder of Kamu, 46. Cain is also accused of conspiracy to kill the prime minister.

Kamu was shot in the back last July at a political function hosted by the prime minister.

Alatise Vitale, Leafa Vitale's son, has admitted firing the fatal shots, and has had a death sentence commuted to life in prison.

The trial continues.

(For full trial details, see: SamoaLive at http://www.samoalive.com/court_transcripts.htm.) 

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