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Tialavea reprimands Prisons boss

Minister for Prisons and Correction Services, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, has reprimanded Prisons Commissioner, Taitosaua Edward Winterstein.

The Minister, in a letter dated November 9, 2018 to the Prisons Commissioner, accused him of “not telling the truth” in relation to prisoner Tagaloasa Filipaina.

“I am extremely disappointed that you did not tell me the truth and you had embarrassed me in front of the Prime Minister. 

“You are the Commissioner and one of your mandates is to give advice that is fair accurate, and from that I make my decision for the betterment of the Prisons for not telling the truth that Tagaloasa Filipaina threatens the security of the prison,” Tialavea said.

Taitosaua did not respond to telephone messages left at his office on Friday by the Samoa Observer, which sought his comments in response to the Minister’s letter. 

Last month, Tialavea told this newspaper that Filipaina and colleague prisoner Ovaleni Poli Vaili—who are currently being held at the Police Central Station—will be transferred back to Tafa’igata prison. 

But the Minister noted in his letter that the prisoners will serve out the balance of their custodial sentence at the Central Police Station. 

“However, despite meetings pertaining to the transfer of Filipaina to Tafa’igata not once you said anything about the Prisons is better off without Filipaina,” he added.  

Tialavea, in his letter, told the Prisons Commissioner that the oversight should not be repeated. 

“A good leader, is bold and is not scared to give advice that is balanced and fair as such advice is the basis of the decisions for the betterment of the operation. 

“The decision for Filipaina, he will remain at the Central Police Station until the duration of his sentencing is complete. 

“Even after the completion of the new jail in Tanumalala, he will not be transferred, Filipaina will be housed at the Police Station,” he added.  

Filipaina and Ovaleni were moved to the Central Police Station in February this year, after authorities suspected that they were both behind a plot to lead a mass jail breakout, as Cyclone Gita headed for Samoa at that time.

The Minister, in a letter dated November 9, 2018 to the Prisons Commissioner, accused him of “not telling the truth” in relation to prisoner Tagaloasa Filipaina.

“I am extremely disappointed that you did not tell me the truth and you had embarrassed me in front of the Prime Minister. 

“You are the Commissioner and one of your mandates is to give advice that is fair accurate, and from that I make my decision for the betterment of the Prisons for not telling the truth that Tagaloasa Filipaina threatens the security of the prison,” Tialavea said.

Taitosaua did not respond to telephone messages left at his office on Friday by the Samoa Observer, which sought his comments in response to the Minister’s letter. 

Last month, Tialavea told this newspaper that Filipaina and colleague prisoner Ovaleni Poli Vaili—who are currently being held at the Police Central Station—will be transferred back to Tafa’igata prison. 

But the Minister noted in his letter that the prisoners will serve out the balance of their custodial sentence at the Central Police Station. 

“However, despite meetings pertaining to the transfer of Filipaina to Tafa’igata not once you said anything about the Prisons is better off without Filipaina,” he added.  

Tialavea, in his letter, told the Prisons Commissioner that the oversight should not be repeated. 

“A good leader, is bold and is not scared to give advice that is balanced and fair as such advice is the basis of the decisions for the betterment of the operation. 

“The decision for Filipaina, he will remain at the Central Police Station until the duration of his sentencing is complete. 

“Even after the completion of the new jail in Tanumalala, he will not be transferred, Filipaina will be housed at the Police Station,” he added.  

Filipaina and Ovaleni were moved to the Central Police Station in February this year, after authorities suspected that they were both behind a plot to lead a mass jail breakout, as Cyclone Gita headed for Samoa at that time.

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