Investigation launched into alleged treasonous acts by Samoan MPs

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Samoa’s former deputy prime minister and three other Opposition MPs are to be investigated for alleged treasonous activities and breaches of Standing Orders.

A Commission of Inquiry has been ordered to look into the behaviour of Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, who recently left the governing HRPP, as well as La’auli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt, Faumuina Wayne Fong, and Olo Fiti Vaai.

From left, Faumuina Wayne Fong, Olo Fiti Vaai, former Deputy PM Fiame Naomi Mataafa and La'auli Leuatea Polataivao

From left, Faumuina Wayne Fong, Olo Fiti Vaai, former Deputy PM Fiame Naomi Mataafa and La’auli Leuatea Polataivao Photo: RNZ Pacific / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi ordered the commission during the last day of Parliament, before next month’s election.

He said the four MPs attended political campaigns in several constituencies without informing the Speaker.

Tuila’epa said they were absent while parliament proceedings took place from 19 January until yesterday’s session.

The prime minister also indicated the inquiry would look into alleged treasonous acts, related to speeches made at campaign rallies.

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Laauli was refused permission to counter the claims by the Speaker to address the house over the motion for an inquiry.

A retired judge and a private lawyer are to be appointed alongside the Ombudsman to carry out the inquiry within three months.

The Commission of Inquiry’s findings and recommendations will be tabled for a final decision in front of the new Parliament, according to Tuila’epa.

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