Security Detail for Former Prime Minister to be Reinstated

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Former Prime Minister Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi with his Security Detail in 2021. Photo: Meritiana Oti.

Security protection for Samoa’s former Prime Minister of 23 years will be reinstated by Police after a recent incident where two women approached and collared Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi as he was getting into his car outside the Mulinuu Courthouse.

Tuilaepa had been attending the annual prayer service to bless the work of the Samoa Courts for the new year.

Deputy Police Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti confirmed during a press conference on Wednesday that the Ministry of Police has considered this a necessary move given recent events.

DPC Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti.

“With the re-opening of borders, we gave seen a large influx of overseas based Samoans return home,” said the Deputy Police Commissioner.

 

“We have also considered that differences which arose during the political crisis are not yet completely behind the nation,” said Papalii, “and there is still a threat to the security and safety of the former Prime Minister.

Samoa’s former Prime Minister did face many threats against him during his tenure as leader of Samoa’s government for over two decades, especially so by overseas based Samoans.

A man is currently serving time at Tanumalala prison after pleading guilty to participating in a conspiracy plot to gun down the former Prime Minister.

The Judge’s sentencing report confirms that Taualai Leiloa names Australian Samoan Tala Pauga as the lead conspirator who sent him money via Western Union, provided him with a weapon and vehicle with instructions to.gun down Tuilaepa.

New Arrivals @ SOS Togafuafua and Salelologa branches

In handing down the 5 year prison sentence for the self confessed hired gunman, Justice Tologata Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren highligjted the seriousness of the offense and said leaders are deserving of respect.

“A conspiracy to murder the Prime Minister of any democratic country in the world is an attack on democracy itself. It cannot and should not be taken lightly.”