Police interview former election chief Papali'i Malietau Malietoa

Former Electoral Commissioner, Papali’i Malietau Malietoa, was interviewed by the Police in Apia Friday and released after three hours.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Papali’i said the Police asked that he went down to the station for an interview, and he was released after three hours.

He said he was accompanied by his lawyer and the Police did not give them a full brief of the charges, consequently he has decided to seek more information from the Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff.

“My lawyer and I have not been given the full list of charges, and are writing to the Attorney General for those particulars.

“I was requested to come down to the Police Department for an interview and I did so this morning (yesterday) at 10.30 accompanied by my lawyer. 

“I was informed of charges against me for the first time and asked for a statement. I was held until 1.30 when the registrar granted bail. I was home by 2pm,” he said.

The Attorney General did not respond to questions sent through email by this newspaper, which sought his comment in relation to this development, though he did indicate in February this year that the Police inquiry is legitimate as it is based on a 2015 referral by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

“All Public Service Commission files referred to us and that are with our Office are being given a full review as part of an updating of our files,” he said at that time. 

Evidence referred to the Police by the PSC can lead to recommendations for further investigation, added the Attorney General. 

“Where the evidence supports it, referrals will be made to the Police for their views and recommendations."

Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, did not respond to telephone calls and questions sent through email by this newspaper seeking his comment.

When the matter first surfaced early this year, Papali’i said he was not aware of the investigations that the Police had started into his actions three years ago. 

“I was not informed of an investigation and only heard it first from you (Samoa Observer). Natural justice dictates that I be informed of an investigation being undertaken and the scope of that investigation.”

He had also earlier said that the timing of the investigation was unusual. 

“It was 2015 I was terminated I will defend myself via the lawful process. I would not be surprised given my vocal opposition against the dam being built in Alaoa." 

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