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Samoa's AG seeks closed door trial for assassination plot accused

Samoa Supreme Court building
Source: RNZI

Apia, SAMOA — The Attorney General's Office in Samoa is seeking a closed court hearing next year for the trial of two men accused of plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

The issue was raised on Friday when one of the three suspects, who has pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to murder the prime minister, appeared in court.

Taulai Leiloa was due to have his pre-sentencing reports heard in the Supreme Court when the matter was raised, the Samoa Observer reports.

Co-defendants Malele Paulo - also known as King Faipopo - and Lemai Faioso Sione have entered not guilty pleas to two counts of the same charge.

Assistant Attorney General, Magele Leone Su'a, said there is a hearing on Wednesday for legal issues including an application to have the trial heard behind closed doors.

Other matters to be dealt with include a request from the prosecution to have Leiloa dealt with before the other co-defendants.

There is also an application seeking to exclude information given or obtained in confidence.