"No one is above the law," says P.M. Tuilaepa

Cabinet's decision to terminate the services of the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.), Papali’i John Taimalelagi, shows that “no one is above the law.”

That was Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi’s response when the Samoa Observer asked him for a comment on the latest senior public official to have been sacked by Cabinet.

When it was put to Tuilaepa that the termination of the services of another high profile public official does not look good for his administration, Tuilaepa disagreed.

He said the implementation of policies shows a Government that follows the principles of “accountability, transparency and honesty.”

“As I have repeatedly stated in the past, no one is above the law and if there are allegations, the process is in place to deal with them,” the Prime Minsiter said.

The Prime Minister added that the termination of Papali’i's contract went through the proper protocols.

“The latest termination was processed through the normal channels as prescribed by the law. This is a long standing policy endorsed by Government,” he said.

Last week, the Minister for Justice and Courts Administration, Fa’aolesa Katopau Ainu’u, told the Samoa Observer that the decision to terminate Papali’i’s contract was based on the recommendation by the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) and approved by Cabinet.

The investigation by the P.S.C. was launched in August last year. It was triggered by the release of Court files from the Court to the Office of Minister Fa’aolesa.

The files were delivered by Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration employee, Tualima Pio and the Secretary of former Chief Executive Officer, Papali’i to the Minister’s office in 2016.

Mr. Pio reported the matter to the Chief Justice before he told the Samoa Observer about it.

Later, an investigation by the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) into the removal of the files – and other matters at the Ministry – was launched.

Papali’i joins a number of high profile bureaucrats, who were also terminated in the last 12 months, following the investigations of allegations against them.

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