A.G. backs Cabinet’s decision

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong ,

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ATTORNEY GENERAL: Lemalu Herman Retzlaff and SUSPENDED: Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil.

ATTORNEY GENERAL: Lemalu Herman Retzlaff and SUSPENDED: Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil.

Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, is standing by Cabinet’s decision to suspend the Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, for the second time.

In response to an email from the Samoa Observer, Lemalu pointed out that the law makes it clear the Police Commissioner should be suspended pending Court proceedings. 

“The Attorney General’s Office position is the law,” says Lemalu. 

“The law says that when the Police Commissioner is charged with an offence, he or she is to be suspended awaiting the outcome of the charges in Court.

“Cabinet has confirmed that  position which has led to Mr. Keil being suspended that being, awaiting the outcome of the new charge(s).”

Lemalu, who has also taken over the National Prosecution Office following the suspension of the Director, Mauaga Precious Chang and Acting Director, Muriel Lui, said N.P.O. would handle the charges. 

“The prosecution of these new charges will be placed with the Assistant Director of N.P.O., Ms Leone Sua. 

“She will review and assist police directly with this matter.”

According to the Attorney General his office was informed by the Police that Fuiavailiili was in custody for charges which includes amongst others one charge of incite to murder. 

“A charge our Office later received a copy of when it was filed in court by the Police,” Lemalu says. 

Furthermore, he confirmed that the petition of no confidence to remove Fuiavailiili was not the reason why he was arrested on Monday. 

Earlier this week, Cabinet confirmed the suspension of  the Police Commissioner pending investigation and a Court decision on charges against him. 

A statement from the Press Secretariat stated that Fuiavailiili had resumed his duties on Monday having being reinstated by Cabinet last week after charges on a separate matter had been withdrawn against him by an independent prosecutor. 

On Monday when Fuiava was suspended, the then Acting Commissioner, Samoa Mulinu’u Mulinu’u said the Commission was facing more than 10 firearms related charges. 

Another charge is incite and procure to murder pursuant to section 105 of the Crimes Act 2013. 

Samoa said the charges stemmed from an alleged incident during one of the Police drug raids in 2015. 

One firearm-related charge is in connection to an AK47 the Commissioner authorized to be used by the Tactical Operation Unit (T.O.S)

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