FAST Party Complaint leads to Arrest of Woman Visiting from USA

Vaaaoao Alofipo, Failautusi a le Vaega Faaupufai, Faatuatua le Atua Samoa ua Tasi.

Translated fom the files of #FaaSamoa The Samoa Police have arrested and charged an overseas-based Samoan woman under criminal libel laws for allegedly making defamatory remarks against members of the ruling FAST party.

Deputy Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti confirmed the woman was read her rights on Monday this week and charged with making false statements under section 117A of the Crimes Act.

Papalii said the accused is on bail on condition that requires her to hand in all travel documents and sign-in weekly at the Faleolo Police Outpost.

The Secretary of the ruling Faatuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi party had earlier this month confirmed to the media that he filed a police complaint against a second overseas-based Samoan.

The complaint was filed by FAST party secretary, Va’aaoao Alofipo, who had told the media earlier this month that it is important for people to know that it is a crime to make false statements that are defamatory to others.

“Atonu e fai lea ma lesona lelei mo soo se tasi na te faia lea ituaiga soligatulafono, o le faia lea o ni faamatalaga e tauleagaina ai soo se isi.”

Vaaaoao Alofipo was addressing the local media outside Court, immediately following the dismissal of defamation charges against Australian-based broadcaster Tiumalumatua Maifea Fetu.

The FAST party secretary had named the woman as Petina Tautai and said she lives in Utah USA.

The accused will appear in the District Court on 18 October 2022.