Special Inquiry Committee to investigate Judges' suspension being finalised
The Judicial Service Commission (J.S.C.) is working to finalise the appointment of the Special Inquiry Committee to investigate the suspension of the three Lands and Title Court (L.T.C.) Judges.
Secretary of the J.S.C., who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Moliei Vaai, confirmed this in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.
“We have yet to inform the selected committee members officially and whether they have accepted the request,” said the J.S.C. Secretary.
It is unclear whether the L.T.C. Judges - Deputy President, Sevealii Panapa Vee, Senior Judge, Lavea Siaosi Hazelman and Judge Nanai Pologa Ioane - have been placed on suspension with or without pay.
Their suspensions took effect 18 days ago.
Follow up e-mails to Ms. Vaai about the suspensions were not answered as of press time.
In confirming the suspension, Ms. Vaai said: “Three Land and Titles Court (L.T.C.) Judges have been suspended by the Acting Chief Justice and Chairman of the J.S.C. as of Monday 9 September 2019 pending an investigation by a Committee.”
"According to the C.E.O. the J.S.C. have yet to appoint a committee "to look into allegations regarding a decision of the L.T.C.".
To date efforts by the Samoa Observer to get direct comments from the suspended Judges have been unsuccessful.