TRIAL BEGINS IN SAMOA OVER IMPROPER TITLES

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Member of Parliament Vaiotu explains actions

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, March 9, 2009) – Member of Parliament, Vaiotu Mulitalo Siafausa Vui yesterday declined, upon legal advice, to comment on actions taken by Vaimoso village against him.

The matter is now before the court and his lawyer said it would be prejudicial to make a comment about it, Vaiotu said.

He confirmed a trial was scheduled for this Friday at the Land and Titles Court with he and the village parties on the matter.

Last week the chiefs and orators of Vaimoso ordered that Vaiotu be banished, for statements he made about the reason for his ostracism by the village in 1999.

The village matai said the statements were "unfounded."

There are also other simmering issues between Vaiotu and the village.

This includes, say village spokespersons, his taking part in the bestowal of the important title of Manuleleua on three persons recently, against the wishes of the village and important matai of the district of Faleata.

One of the spokespersons for Vaimoso, Aulavemai Tafito, told reporters last Thursday the banishment order applies only to Vaiotu Siafausa and not to his wife and children.

The village has laid a complaint against him, which is the basis for the trial this Friday.

Vaiotu is better known as Mulitalo Siafausa Vui, the name he used for two complete terms as a Member of Parliament for Fa’asaleleaga No. 4.

He is married into Vaimoso and the title Vaiotu was bestowed on him by the family of his wife, who is from the village.

Vaiotu served as Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly under his title of Mulitalo – from his village of Lano – from 1996 - 2001.

He was Minister of Health from 2001- 2006.

He was returned to Parliament in the 2006 general elections but lost his seat in an election petition afterwards.

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

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