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Death Plot Revealed In Samoan Murder Trial

Prosecution Reveals Death Plot In Samoan Murder Trial

20 JAN 2000 APIA (Pacnews) --- In Samoa, a former Cabinet minister charged with the murder of works minister, Luagalau Levaula Kamu has admitted his involvement to assassinate Luagalau, reports Pacnews.

Former communications minister, Toi Aukuso Cain told Police that he and then Minister of Women's Affairs, Leafa Vitale, plotted to kill the former public works minister.

This was revealed by Attorney General Brenda Heather-Latu in her opening address at the trial in the Samoan capital, Apia.

Toi and Leafa yesterday have maintained their not guilty plea.

" Toi spoke at length to the police. And he told them that he and Leafa did in fact plot to kill Luagalau," Heather Latu said.

Heather-Latu again stressed that while Eletise Leafa pulled the trigger, which killed Luagalau, some in the community would take the moral position the two defendants were equally guilty of the murder.

"It was in fact their (Toi's and Leafa's) plan to kill Luagalau," she said.

Heather-Latu said the defendants engaged Alatise, supplied him with the gun, ammunition and in effect the opportunity to carry out the shooting.

In his opening statement, Leafa's counsel, Toleafoa Solomona Toiloa, urged the trial assessors to remember that what the Attorney General had said was not evidence.

"The only evidence the assessors were duty bound to heed was what witnesses will say in the witness box and if witnesses do not repeat what the Attorney General mentioned then her statement should be disregarded."

Toi's counsel, Aeau Semi Epati in his opening statements, said Toi's alleged statement to the Police regarding the plot to kill Luagalau was first and foremost, 'not sworn evidence.' The trial, in its third day is continuing.... PNS

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