Police Send Olo’s Defamation Complaint File Against Tuilaepa to Attorney General for Final Review

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22 September 2022, Apia Samoa. The Samoa Police say they have completed their investigations into a defamation complaint filed by Minister of Works Hon. Olo Levaopolo Afoa Fiti Vaai, against former Prime Minister and opposition leader, Tuileapa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi.

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According to Deputy Police Commissioner, Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti, the file has been sent to the Office of the Attorney General to be reviewed.

“However, the findings of police into the allegations, is that there is enough evidence to bring charges of defamation,” said Papalii.

The Deputy Commissioner further explained that advice is sought from the Office of the Attorney General as a matter of process when complaints are made against high profile members of Government such as MPs.

Papalii says charges would be brought against the leader of the opposition under Samoa’s criminal libel laws; and heard in the District Court.

“We have handed the file to the Office of the Attorney General for their own review, and then a final decision will be made,” said Papalii.

The police investigation stems from a complaint filed by Olo after one of Tuilaepa’s press conferences, where the opposition leader spoke out against a Toyota Landcruiser which had been purchased from Australia for the exclusive use of the Minister.

Tuilaepa told the media that the act of fitting the vehicle with private plates is likened to an act of theft of public property.

Furious, the Minister took to national television to say he would sue Tuilaepa for the comments, which are defamatory and aimed to dishonour his position as a member of cabinet, as a minister, as well as his position as an MP.

Olo had added, the allegations have also impacted on his reputation and as such, impacted his wife and children.