Ten More Church Ministers Appear in Court

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Ten more church ministers of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa appeared in the District Court this morning.

A total of fifteen church ministers have made their way to court following a decision by the EFKS to fight the legality of the tax reform imposed by the Government.

District Court Judge, Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma presided over the matter with Alesana Tumua appearing on behalf of the Tax Commission and Alex Su’a representing the EFKS faifeaus.

When the first defendant Reverend Fa’auuga Mata’utia was called to stand in the box, defense counsel asked the court if the other nine defendants could be called together with Reverend Fa’auuga.

Judge Fepuleai asked defense counsel to confirm if all ten defendants were being jointly charged, howerever, Mr. Su’a responded that the faifeau are being charged individually.

Judge Fepuleai then told Mr. Su’a that all defendants should therefore be called individually.

Mr. Su’a made an application to the court for an adjournment so he can obtain instructions from his clients.

Judge Fepuleai granted the application and remanded all defendants at liberty.

“This matter is adjourned without pleas to the 5th of February, 2019 for defense counsel to obtain instructions from his clients and all defendants are remanded at liberty.”

Each church minister faces two charges – failing to file tax returns and failing to withhold tax.


Deidre Fanene