The Judiciary Members of the Supreme Court has been named as Samoa Observer’s people of the year for 2021; Chief Justice his honour Satiu Simativa Perese; Senior Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson and Justices of the Supreme Court; Tologata Leilani Tuala-Warren; Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma; Niaava Mata Tuatagaloa and Lesatele Rapi Vaai.
Written by Editor James Robertson the article says in 2021, Samoa witnessed an extraordinary and historic attack on the its judiciary as a whole.
The criticism of Judges is nothing new as it comes with the role and unlike many other campaign against judicial branches, this one held the country to political hostage to a more than three months power vacuum.
It followed the passage of a judicial overhaul and critics argued weakened the rule of law.
Attacks began when former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi and his administration did not appear able to accept the possibility they lost at the April general election and he continued to discredit the Judicial members.
The Judges were variously derided as incompetent, biased conflicted due to relationships and perennial friendships and any other connections. None of these imputations would have passed muster according to established legal standards and were treated as little more than innuendo.
Among others included in the newspaper’s yearly people of the year are former Attorney General Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu;frontliner workers such as Health workers; CEO of the STA Faamutainu Suifau Lenatai leading the most devastated tourism industry;former Police CommissionerFuiavaili’ili Egon Keil who has been featured three times in the daily newspaper.
The award winning newspaper at the end of year publishes on the work of people that have made a difference in the Country.
Owned and operated by Editor in Chief, Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa and Muliaga Jean Malifa, the newspaper has been in operation for over 40 years.