Samoa Attorney General To Review Satapuala Inquiry

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Charges filed against village MP over roadblock incident

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 2, 2012) – In Samoa, the investigation on A’ana Alofi no III Member of Parliament Toesulusulu Cedric Shuster and others from the village of Satapuala has been completed.

The report was been handed over to the office of the Attorney General on Friday for review.

Attorney General Aumua Ming Leung Wai told the Sunday Samoan in an email that the file in relation to the Satapuala dispute is with his office; Aumua said police have already filed charges.

"It appears that the police have already filed charges against certain people from the village of Satapuala including MP Toesulusulu Cedric in the District Court," he said.

"My office will review the charges that the police have filed and will take the lead in prosecuting these charges."

Asked to elaborate on the report, the Attorney General pointed out that "I cannot at this stage elaborate as more time is needed to go over the file and review the charges that the Police have filed."

Attempts to get a comment from Police spokesperson, Leaupepe Fatu Pula were unsuccessful.

MP Toesulusulu Cedric Shuster was being investigated after Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi alleged in Parliament that he was behind the whole affair.

The Prime Minister said he was in breach of his oath of office due to his involvement with the Satapuala road block which occurred late last month.

The incident was a result of the villagers of Satapuala opposing a U.S.-funded hospital being built on ten acres of land behind the reserve opposite the Faleolo International Airport.

The villagers claim that the land was taken from them years ago and they insist that there has never been proper settlement of the issue.

Armed police were called into the village to remove road blocks that were set up by the villagers.

Police officers discharged firearms during the incident while villagers were alleged to have retaliated with stones.

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