Police probe Cabinet Minister for forgery

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 27 June 2017, 12:00AM

The file of a criminal investigation involving a Cabinet Minister accused of forgery has been submitted to the Attorney General’s Office for a final review. 

This was confirmed by the Acting Assistant Commissioner, Sala’a Moananu Sala’a, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.

Sala’a would not confirm the identity of the Minister.

But when the Samoa Observer approached the Minister in question for a comment yesterday, he declined.

"I cannot comment,” he said. “Please contact my attorney."

It was not possible to get a comment from the lawyer.

But the Police have labeled their investigation as a “high profile criminal case.

Sala’a confirmed the Police have concluded their investigation. 

 “It has now been submitted to the A.G’s office for a final review,” he said. 

“They have also been asked for their recommendations as to the appropriate charge(s) in this case. The criminal case against the Cabinet Minister is around allegations of forgery.”

According to Sala’a, the investigation into the case has been in the pipeline for more than a year.

Asked what criminal charges the Police recommended in their report, Sala’a said they only investigated the allegations.

“The police did not recommend any criminal charges,” he said. “That task has been left up to the Attorney General’s office.” 

He further explained that “usually the Police conduct their investigation and then proceed to file charges against anyone accused. 

“However there are certain cases where we refer to the Attorney General’s office for their review and advice. 

“Like this case, it’s a high profile criminal case where a Cabinet Minister is involved. 

“Yes, we seek their review and advice to assure that we cover every loop hole, if there are any.” 

According to Sala’a, they are now waiting for the Attorney General on the next move for this case. 

“It’s been three weeks since the file has been submitted to the AG’s office. They will be the ones to direct us as to what are the appropriate charges for this case.” 

Questions sent to Attorney General, Lemalu Herman Retzlaff, were not responded to at press time.

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 27 June 2017, 12:00AM

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