Afamasaga investigations still continuing

Investigations into corruption allegations levelled at the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure Chief Executive Officer Afamasaga Su’a Pou Onesemo are continuing.  

Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer, said both the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) and the police are investigating. 

Last month a former Member of the Indian Parliament, Sh.P.K. Bansal, and his company Ascent Navals lodged an official complaint with the Public Service Commission against Afamasaga, who vehemently denies the allegations and has been suspended pending the investigation. He has since been charged by the P.S.C. but the nature of the charges remain unclear.  

P.S.C. Chairman, Aiono Mose Sua, has refused to give more information on the charges. 

Yesterday, Lemalu, in an email to the Samoa Observer said: “Both the P.S.C. inquiry and the Police investigation are active, and continue to date.” 

In previous police investigations involving Government officials, files are sent to the Attorney General’s Office for their review. But in relation to this particular matter, Lemalu said the file has yet to reach his office.

Last month Lemalu issued a statement confirming formal police investigations were launched on June 6, 2018 by the Ministry of Police Criminal Investigation Division, in view of a complaint alleging corrupt practices by a Government C.E.O. The statement went on to say that the records of the allegations were sent to the Attorney General and received on June 5, 2018.

After consideration it was referred by the A.G. to the Police Commissioner, with a recommendation that a criminal investigation commence immediately, given the nature of the allegations. 

Lemalu gave reassurance that as soon as the complaint was received, it was immediately acted upon by this office and the Ministry of Police in an effort to prevent any delays, remove any suggestion of preferential treatment, and to make it clear that no one can be considered to be above the law.

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