Police defend length of investigations into "complex" cases

Police Superintendent Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo has called for patience as the Police continue to investigate what he described as “very complex” with some involving the alleged misappropriation of public funds.

The Police Superintendent made the call when he was queried by the Samoa Observer on the perceived lack of progress in the Police investigation into some high profile cases involving former senior public servants.

One of them is the Police investigation into the former Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Sefuiva Charlene Malele.

The Speaker of Parliament, Leaupepe Tole’afoa Fa’afisi, confirmed that her services had been terminated in February as a result of an investigation by the Audit Office into allegations of misappropriation of Government funding, human resources and alleged abuse of public properties.

The complaint was lodged directly with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi who ordered the Audit investigation.

After Cabinet made the decision to terminate Sefuiva’s contract, the matter was referred to the Police for further investigation.

According to Superintendent Auapa’au, the delay is caused “due to the complexity of what each respective case presents.” 

Aupa’au confirmed that their investigation into the case of the former Clerk is continuing.

“These are high profile cases and the delay in results (whether charges will be filed or the case is closed) is mainly due to the complexity of what each respective case presents," he said.

Pressed to reveal what sort of “complexities” the Police investigators are facing, Auapa’au said: “These are allegations over the misappropriation of Government funds. It often involves complicated financial documents that needs to be thoroughly examined.”

But the consistency in terms of the time taken for investigations has been questioned by members of the public.

For instance, the investigation into allegations at the Football Federation Samoa was only initiated at the beginning of the month.

Last week, the Police filed charges against the former Chief Executive Officer.

Asked about the perceived inconsistency, Superintendent Auapa’au said it would be premature to draw any conclusions, as all cases are different.

He assured that all cases are treated equally and are a priority for the Police.

“Look all I can say is that investigations are ongoing,” he said.

“You cannot draw any conclusion based on which case is prosecuted first, your tactics will not be tolerated — each case is a priority to the Police.”

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