SAMOAN LAWMAKER ADMITS MURDER CONVICTION

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 6) – A Samoan Member of Parliament for the ruling Human Rights Protection Party has made public a previous criminal conviction.

The Associate Minister for the Ministry of revenue, Lafaitele Patrick, has admitted he was jailed in New Zealand after being found guilty of first degree murder.

He served four years in jail before being deported.

He was a visitor to New Zealand in 1988 when a fight broke out in Otara shopping centre and a Tongan man was killed.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, the Associate Minister says his actions were self defence and if his family had had enough money at the time, they would have appealed the ruling.

Lafaitele revealed his conviction after a correspondent to the paper said he was shocked to find that a convicted felon deported from New Zealand was now a politician in Samoa.

July 7, 2006

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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