Associate Minister queries the delay

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia 05 August 2016, 12:00AM

The Associate Minister of the Ministry of the Prime Minister, Peseta Tevaga Vaifou, is not a happy man.

He tells the Samoa Observer that he is still in the dark about progress of a complaint he lodged with the Police against another Minister. 

Peseta is referring to a complaint he filed last year against the former Speaker of the House and now Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao Fosi. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Peseta assured that all the documents required for the investigation have been made available to the Police and the relevant authorities.

“They continue to tell me that it’s still under investigation,” said Peseta. 

“But what puzzles me is all the documents they needed like financial statements and others have already been handed over to them.

“So I do not understand the reason behind the delays.”

His lawyer, Leulua’iali’i Olinda Woodroffe, shares her client’s frustration. 

“The matter is beyond my control and that of Peseta,” she said. 

“The delay is just unjustified, unexplainable and questionable.”

According to the lawyer, it has been 18 months since Peseta lodged the complaint with the Police. 

“Thus far when make an inquiry on the investigation they keep saying it’s continuing. My question is why it is taking so long to investigate his complaint?”

Leulua’iali’i reiterated that her client has the right to know and the right to question the process. 

The Director of the National Prosecution Office, Mauga Precious Chang was recently asked about the complaint from Peseta. 

In response she said the investigation is still not complete. 

“The police are working together with the Associate Minister and our office,” said Mauga.

“Our office has requested further matters to be done as well as further documents and information from the Associate Minister and his lawyer before any determinations can be done as to whether there is a crime or not. 

“At this stage it is still only an investigation based on a complaint brought to the Police of an allegation.”

Mauga did not say what the allegation was.

In the meantime, Peseta, the M.P. for Fa’asaleleaga No. 4 is awaiting the hearing of a criminal matter where he faces one count of forgery and another charge of fraud in relation to a document he is alleged to have forged.

The hearing of the matter has been adjourned until September this year. Peseta denies the charges.

In the interim, he had a filed a complaint against the Ministry of Police about the handling of the matter which led to the charges against him.

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia 05 August 2016, 12:00AM

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