'Truth prevailed,' ex-Minister says

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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ALL SMILES: Former Minister La’auli Polata'ivao Schmidt.

ALL SMILES: Former Minister La’auli Polata'ivao Schmidt.

Former Cabinet Minister, La’aulialemalietoa Polataivao Schmidt, is a relieved man.

"The truth has prevailed," he declared.

He and his business associates, Apulu Lance Polu and Martin Jonathan Schwalger  made the point during a press conference yesterday.

They are delighted about the decision by the Supreme Court to dismiss a civil claim brought by a former business partner and the Associate Minister of Cabinet and Prime Minister, Peseta Vaifou Tevaga, against them.

Peseta said he is appealing the decision by Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren.

But La'auli and his group are not sitting around.

Yesterday, the former Minister announced they are already working to revive their nonu exporting business.

 “I will not say anything about the civil case,” Laauli said. “That is something for the Judiciary, it is their obligation and their responsibility. 

“We all turn to the court to seek the truth.  

“There were many reports on our case, however they were one sided.

“However for us, our statement is based on the Court’s decision. 

“I also appeal to the reporters to please read the decision thoroughly, it has everything in there. 

“The purpose of this press conference is that I want to hand over to you the Court’s decision, for your understanding, everything is in here.” According to La’auli, his family’s name has been tarnished. His children have been affected which is why the press conference is vital to inform the public that the truth has prevailed as evident with the Court’s decision. 

BUSINESS PARTNERS: Apulu Lance Polu and former Minister La’aulialemalietoa Polataivao Schmidt and Martin Jonathan Schwalger following their press conference.
BUSINESS PARTNERS: Apulu Lance Polu and former Minister La’aulialemalietoa Polataivao Schmidt and Martin Jonathan Schwalger following their press conference.

“The ruling is the truth. It’s the answer from God,” said La’auli. 

“I have been affected badly by the reports on the allegations made against me, it has affected my family, my village and my county,” said La’auli. 

“However I waited for the ruling to come out. 

“As I stated when I stepped down from my Ministerial Post, Samoa I claim my innocence. I know what I did.”

On Tuesday, Justice Tafaoimalo ordered the management of L.P.A. (Nonu Company) to return to Apulu Lance Polu, Martin Jonathan Schwalger and Danny Schwenke, Peseta’s son.  

Apulu made it clear that Peseta is not a director of the nonu company. 

“He is not a shareholder of the L.P.A.”

As for the nonu business, Apulu said: “The nonu business will benefit a lot of people, most especially the low income families.”

He said the lawsuit had tainted the image of the business but he is confident that it would succeed despite having to start from scratch.

According to Apulu, the business was booming that in 2015 they collected $3 million. 

However in 2016 their sale dropped significantly to $900,000. 

A separate criminal Court hearing involving the same parties is pending.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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