Witnesses Say they Do Not Understand Parts of their Signed Affidavits

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Two witnesses who testified against FAST MP Agaseata Valelio Tanuvasa Peto admitted in Court that they did not understand parts of their signed affidavits written in English.

HRPP’s Ili Setefano Tafili who polled 575 behind Agaseata’s 700 votes has brought 8 bribery, 1 treating and 1 undue influence against the incumbent MP.  Ili’s case has 9 witnesses and the first to take the stand was Penuafa Sila Siloi, 62, of Leulumoega-Tuai.

He testified that the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) Political Party held a roadshow at the village of Nofoalii on the 2nd of February 2021 which he had attended.

Penuafa said when he arrived, the roadshow had already began. He could not identify the matai from FAST who handed over $1000 tala for the chiefs of Leulumoega village. He said it was given to a matai named Sinaifoa Vaimoana to distribute.

“I did get $50 from Sinaifoa on that day,” Penuafa said.

During cross examination, the witness was shown his signed affidavit by Counsel for Agaseata, Mr Alex Su’a.

Referring to the sections of the affidavit written in the English language, Mr Su’a asked the witness if he understood that part of his signed statement, to which he replied “No”.

Asked if he knew who had taken down his statement he said he could not recall.

A second witness, a Nofoalii matai named Ili also testified he attended the same FAST roadshow for the Aana Alofi 3 district. He told the Court he received $20 tala from the $1000 tala that had been given for matai of Nofoalii.  He said he left the roadshow immediately after receiving his money.

When Alex Su’a cross examined this witness, he was again asked if he understood the parts of his affidavit written in the English language, and he replied, “No”.

Ili told the Court he, too, could not remember who had taken down his statement.

Represented by Leiataualesa Jerry Brunt, Agaseata Valelio has also filed a counter petition against Ili Setefano Tafili.

The case continues this week against before Justice Vui Clarence Nelson and Justice Tafaoimalo Tologata Leilani Tuala-Warren.


Marieta H Ilalio