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Samoan Murder Trial Will Not Be Televised

Samoan Ministers Murder Trial Will Not Be Televised

APIA: An application by Televise Samoa to film the trial of two former cabinet ministers over the assassination of Works Minister Luagalau Levaula Kamu starting in Apia today (Samoan time) has not been allowed, reports a new web site covering the case.

According to Samoa Live, which has set up a special website, this rules out an expected live telecast of the trial.

News media covering the trial are being allowed to take in only their notebooks and pens to the courtroom for Samoa's most high-profile trial since independence in 1962.

The courtroom is expected to be packed to capacity in the first few weeks.

Last week, Alatise Vitale, the convicted murderer of Luagalau, was spared the death sentence for shooting the Works Minister on 16 July 1999.

Pacnews reported that the mandatory death sentence pronounced on him was commuted to life imprisonment by the Head of State His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II. Alatise will now be eligible for parole after 10 years.

Alatise is due to testify as a government witness in the trials of his father, Leafa Vitale, former Minister of Women's Affairs, and Toi Aukuso Cain, former Post and Telecommunications Minister.

A second key government witness, who was allegedly contracted by either Leafa or Toi to assassinate the late minister, is also reportedly due to give evidence.

Continues

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