Complainant relative of suspended Assistant Commissioner, Inquiry told

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 08 June 2017, 12:00AM

The man who lodged a complaint with the Police, which led to the alleged wrongful arrest of a mechanic, is a relative of the suspended Assistant Police Commissioner, Samoa Mulinu’u.

This was revealed before the Commission of Inquiry ordered by Cabinet to investigate the suspended Police officer’s conduct.

The man is Letogo Amosa. He had approached mechanic Si’iloto Natano Peneueta about buying a vehicle and had given him $3500 for the $5000 vehicle.

Later when he demanded his money back, Si’iloto said he couldn’t provide it as he had spent during a trip to New Zealand.

At the beginning of the week, Si’iloto appeared before the Commission and informed them he was unlawfully arrested on orders by Samoa. 

The Cabinet-appointed Commission of Inquiry is chaired by retired Supreme Court Justice Lesatele Rapi Va’ai with members including Tavui Annie Laumea, Namulau’ulu Sami Leota and Apostle Viliamu Mafo’e.

They are to hear evidence on allegations against Samoa in the handling of the criminal matter against Si’iloto. He is also accused of tampering with witnesses in the District Court case of Police v Mauga Precious Chang. 

The Counsels assisting the Commission are Sefo Ainu’ū and Alesana Tumua of the Office of the Attorney General. Samoa is represented by Arthur Lesa and Samau is standing in pro-se. 

Yesterday, Mr. Amosa read out his criminal complaint lodged with the police against Si’iloto. 

He was looking for a vehicle and approached Si’iloto who said there is a vehicle for sale at $5,000. 

“I told him I cannot afford $5,000 but I will look for another car. However the same weekend, Si’iloto called me back to come look at the car and I did.”  

The next day $3,000 was dropped off and Si’iloto said the price of the vehicle remains at $5,000. Another $500 was dropped off within a week.” 

Mr. Amosa told the Commission that Si’iloto then left Samoa.

When he returned “I told him I cannot afford to pay the rest and I wanted a full refund of $3,500.” 

The Commission also heard, the vehicle in question did not belong to Si’iloto. According to Mr. Amosa, Si’iloto told him that $2,000 will be refunded but the rest he will keep. 

“I felt this was unfair, and I left.” 

Mr. Amosa said the following week, he went back to Si’iloto for his money. 

However Si’iloto was upset and referred him to the owner of the vehicle. 

In his complaint to the Police, Mr. Amosa said Si’iloto is his uncle. This however did not stop him from filing a complaint, as what occurred was fraud.

The Commission heard from Mr. Amosa that the first time he found out the vehicle did not belong to Si’iloto was when he asked for a refund. 

 “I filed a complaint with the Police and I did not inquire directly with Samoa.

“During my second visit, I went to the investigating officer, but on my way out I met with Samoa.” 

Upon questioning, Mr. Amosa responded that he informed Samoa that if Si’iloto can pay back the money, he will withdraw his complaint.

That was the last time he met Samoa. 

The hearing continues.

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 08 June 2017, 12:00AM

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