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Samoa police give evidence in criminal libel case

48-year-old Perkin Feagiai Headle
Source: Samoa Observer

Apia, SAMOA — Video recordings of social media posts by a woman charged with criminal libel were submitted to the District Court on Monday by an expert police witness.

Perkin Feagiai Headle, also known as Salote Syrah Tautai is accused of making defamatory statements against members of the ruling party, Faatuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T).

Timothy Komiti – a digital forensic analyst with the Ministry of Police, Prisons, and Corrections Services – submitted video recordings of the defamatory posts made by the accused last year against the F.A.S.T party members on her account before she changed her Facebook account username.

The video recordings presented by Mr. Komiti were part of initial investigations by the police into the matter between August 25 to September 8, 2022. The defamatory posts are believed to have been deleted from the same Facebook account after the accused changed her Facebook account details.

There were more than five Facebook posts allegedly made by the accused against the F.A.S.T party and Prime Minister, Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa, which also criticized the Government's $1 million project.

The 48-year-old woman, who returned to Samoa last year for a family obligation, was slapped with over 20 charges by the police relating to this case, which has delayed her return to the United States.