No criminal charge against former Works C.E.O.

The Office of the Attorney General and the Police will not file any criminal charge against the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Su’a Afamasaga Pou Onesemo.

The decision was confirmed in a joint statement by the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Police on Friday.

"A complaint was received from overseas company directors who were seeking flag barriers from Samoa’s M.W.T.I. alleging corrupt practices by the former CEO of M.W.T.I," the statement reads. 

“A police investigation into the allegations was launched. The file was then subsequently sent to the A.G’s office for their review and at the culmination of the review, both the Police and A.G.O. were of the same final opinion, that criminal charges should not be filed against the accused. 

“The overseas witnesses involved, their current location and the strong possibility of self-incrimination, means that this matter cannot properly be pursued in court."

In June 2018, Attorney General Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff confirmed that a formal Police investigation had been launched in relation to allegations against the C.E.O. The allegations were raised by a former Member of the Indian Parliament, Sh.P.K. Bansal, and his company Ascent Navals, which led to an investigation by the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.). 

Afamasaga was charged by P.S.C. and later had his contract terminated by Cabinet.

Contacted for a comment on Friday, Afamasaga who is currently in Australia, said to date the P.S.C. has not responded to his questions pertaining to the grounds of the termination of his contract. 

Asked if he is planning to pursue the matter in Court, Afamasaga said he is considering his options. 

“I guess likelihood of a claim (is) dependent on advise of my legal team and P.S.C. response to the several charges that were negligently laid which were detrimental to my character, profession and family," he said. 

“From the start I maintained that these were malicious and ill provoked as part of the Indian’s set up plan. It has really taken a toll on me and my family. It has caused irreparable damage beyond compare (refer to google link and you'd know what I'm talking about). It has ruined my reputation beyond measure.

“The A.G. was so adamant there was a case for me to answer and immediately ordered an investigation. The A.G. ordered the investigation even before P.S.C. launched its own. 

“But to receive this has triggered the harm all over again. They were so set on believing the Indian guy who complained. I was already crucified before the investigation even started. Now they are saying the main witnesses will not be able to make it here but that self-incrimination is a concern.” 

Afamasaga also claimed he was mistreated.

“Why was I treated this way? Not like other C.E.O.'s who made the headline news lately? They all went through the P.S.C. process first? Me, no.  

“In the meantime I am penalised and continue to suffer. Suing is an option to be considered. I will need to discuss things further with my lawyer.” 

He reiterated P.S.C. is still taking its time writing their reasons for his termination. 

“I don’t know why it’s taking this long. But the waiting is frustrating".

“But if you read on the social media and on the paper, I’m like criminal already. 

"And that’s why I need to clear my name."







Bg pattern light

UPGRADE TO PREMIUM

Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?