Two men who conspired to kill ex-Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi found guilty

Lema'i Faioso Sione (left) and Malele Atofu Paulo.
Lema'i Faioso Sione (left) and Malele Atofu Paulo. Photo credit: RNZ Pacific / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Two men who conspired to murder former Samoa prime minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi have been found guilty of the charges laid against them.

Samoa's Supreme Court delivered the decision on Friday, in the trial of Malele Paulo and Lema'i Faioso Sione.

The Samoa Observer reports the defendants Paulo also known as King Faipopo, and Sione had maintained their innocence and pleaded not guilty to the joint charge of conspiracy to murder.

In all - four men were charged in 2019 of conspiring to murder Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

Taualai Leiloa pleaded guilty and has been in prison since 2020.

The fourth Talalelei Pauga, also known as "Ninja" is currently being held in a detention centre in Australia

According to Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson, efforts are underway to extradite Pauga from Australia to answer to the charges laid against him.

But he added it is not known when the defendant will be extradited.