Two matai in their 50’s from the village of Sasina, Savaii have been charged following a police investigation into a complaint filed by the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP).
Deputy Police Commissioner, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo confirmed the two matai were charged on the basis of videos posted on social media, where they threatened violence against the HRPP car rally intended for Savaii in early August.
In a widely shared Facebook post the two are seen making threatening statements and insulting words against former Prime Minister Tuilaepa and the Human Rights Protection Party. The Deputy Police Commissioner says they launched an investigation as a result of a formal complaint lodged by HRPP two months ago.
The incident occurred on the day of the HRPP car rally held on the 5th of August 2021.
The Deputy Commissioner said the two matai will appear in the Tuasivi District Court on the 26th of October to answer to their charges.
“Thats how it is now, since the charges are for the District Court, these two men will be called at the Tuasivi District Court for first mention”.
Several villages in Savaii denied the HRPP car rally to enter or pass through their villages including Salelologa wherevillagers were also charged in relation to road blocks on that day. Gunshots were fired at Salelologa and the HRPP car rally were forced to turn back.
Two men from Salelologa were charged for pointing guns at police officers, and a man in his 30’s has since been sentenced by Judge Talasa Atoa-Sa’aga to 20 months imprisonment for possession of a dangerous weapon.