Let not the truth be swamped by corruption, blind ambition, and silly excuses

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Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa

Early this week something quite interesting showed up.

It was a letter, an ordinary letter it seemed, but then the moment it was opened it became quite clear, it was no ordinary letter at all. 

First, it was addressed to Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielagoi, and his Cabinet.

Second, it gave the impression it was from officers of the Police Department.

Third, it strongly recommended that the Commissioner of Police be replaced, since he had introduced in the Samoan Police Force those violence-subduing laws he’s used during the time he was with the American (L.A.P.D.), and now they are being used by the Samoan Police in what had been peaceful Samoa.

And fourth, the letter was not signed.

Incidentally, it first featured in the story by Lanuola Tupufia–Ah Tong that was published in the Samoa Observer on 2 November 2016, under the headline: “Acting Commissioner unaware of petition”.

The Acting Police Commissioner is Samoa Mulinu’u Mulinu’u. 

At the time, reports said that certain senior Police Officers had made it clear they no longer had any confidence in Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil, and that they had already handed over the relevant petition to Prime Minister, Tuilaepa and his Cabinet.

However, when Acting Commissioner, Samoa, was asked for a comment, he said he was not aware of such a petition.

Told that “the petition is alleged to have been signed by commissioned officers,” Samoa denied any knowledge of it. 

He said: “I cannot confirm that. I’m not aware of it.”

So that now, the inevitable question, is: Where is the Truth? 

Indeed, does the word Truth feature any more in the way the government is running this country today?

So let’s look at the truth, the facts. 

First, the petition in question is said to have been presented to the Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati.

The Police Commissioner is facing four criminal charges. 

They include unlawful detaining a person, disorderly conduct in a public place, perjury, and making a false statement in relation to the wrongful arrest of a member of the public.

All these charges, we have been told, emanated during the time the Police Commissioner was engaged in the business of carrying out his official duties.

And there’s the claim that an Assistant Police Commissioner had been suspended, which had been denied by the Acting Police Commissioner, who said: “Those reports are not true.”

“Only Cabinet can approve a suspension but we haven’t received a direct order from Cabinet.”

Fine. 

Asked if it was true that the Assistant Commissioner was under investigation in relation to an alleged incident involving a female officer, the Assistant Police Commissioner declined to comment.

“I cannot answer that,” he said. “I can only say that he is not suspended.”

Fine.

And then there is this seemingly nebulous quarrel involving the suspended Police Commissioner, as well as the equally suspended officers of the National Protection Office, to think briefly about. 

Which is where our nameless contributor – let’s call him Namely Anonymous – enters, and in an attempt to defuse the mounting tension, he writes:

In relation to the case of National Prosecution Office v Egon Keil, the National Prosecution Office who holds sole power of prosecution under the Constitution of the Independent State of Samoa, has not delegated its powers of prosecution in that matter. 

The new Attorney General had the mistaken impression that he still retained some power of prosecution, which he could then use to appoint an overseas counsel of his choice. 

However, that power was removed from him pursuant to the Constitutional Amendment Act (No 2) 2015 and given to the Director of Public Prosecutions, further resulting in the setup of the National Prosecution Office. 

One of the main reasons for that separation of powers was to ensure that the Attorney General avoids a conflict of interest in defending the Government in civil suit. 

Such is the case with the criminal case against Egon Keil; because the Attorney General is defending the Government in this civil suit (which may include defending the actions of the Commissioner of Police), he would be conflicted had he been handling the criminal case against Egon Keil. 

However the Attorney General’s sole focus now is on the civil suit against the government. The National Prosecution Office’s role will be to handle the criminal case. 

Accordingly, these issues have been clarified with the Attorney General and he has agreed, to remove himself from any further involvement in the criminal case. 

The prosecution of the criminal case of Mr. Keil remains with the National Prosecution Office. 

In relation to the matter against Mauga Precious Chang, Namely Anonymous says his Office will not comment as it is not handling that prosecution. 

Still, what exactly is happening to what has invariably been touted as the rock-solid governing Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.), ever since it’s landslide victory earlier this year?

Why is it that some very serious discrepancies have been emanating from the very top of the H.R.P.P. hierarchy since then, so that it now looks as if no one up there cares anymore!  

Incidentally, let’s not forget that Prime Minister Tuilaepa had made it quite clear, the principal actors in the show “are my children.”

He said: “They are young, (so let’s give them time to grow up)”. 

And in that light then, it is quite safe to say that all those who are known in this country as public servants, are also Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s “children”.

Still, let’s hope Namely Anonymous is right. 

Let’s hope the shameful quarreling that’s going on amongst the Police, the Attorney General’s Office and the National Prosecution Office, will be sorted out soon. 

Otherwise, this country is bound to remain a ship without a compass, so that as it’s continuing to sail into the stormy ocean, its rudder is bound to break apart, and in the end we smash into the reef and sink asunder in the forbidding, cruel sea.

In the meantime, let’s not forget you’re one big family, and in case you’ve forgetton, it’s called the H.R.P.P.

And so let the truth reign. 

Let it not be swamped by blind ambition, incorrigible corruption and silly excuses. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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