Talalelei Pauga is in Police Custody at Tanumalala Awaiting Court Appearance


1 September 2023 Apia Samoa.The last alleged conspirator in a plot to assassinate Samoa’s former Prime Minister and Police Commissioner, Talalelei Pauga, has been extradited from Australia and is now in police custody at Tanumalala Prison.

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In response to questions from Samoa Global News, Deputy Police Commissioner, Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti confirmed the dual Auatralian-Samoan citizen arrived into Faleolo International Airport early this morning.

Papalii says members of the Samoa Police service travelled to Australia and accompanied Pauga back to Samoa.

The Office of the Attorney had issued an extradition order when the matter first surfaced in 2019. Pauga had continued to fight the extradiction order, finally accepted by Australia this year.

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Taualai Leiloa, 41, from Magiagi and Laulii pleaded guilty to being involved in the plotting the assassination of Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi when the matter was first brought before the Courts in September 2019.

The self-confessed hitman was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Justice Tologata Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren in December 2020. According to Taualai, Talalelei Pauga has sent him money, organised the weapon and gave specific instructions relating to the plot.

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Just last month, Lema’i Simanu “Manu” Faioso Sione was sentenced to four and a half years while Malele Paulo aka King Faipopo was handed a four year sentence for their involvement in the conspiracy.

Deputy Commissioner Papalii says Pauga will appear in Court on Monday morning to face the charges of conspiracy to murder against him.