A.G. mum on prosecutor's "leaking" firing
The Attorney-General is refusing to comment on reports from multiple sources that a senior prosecutor from her office was fired amid allegations he had “leaked” confidential documents.
Senior Public Prosecutor Quentin Sauaga was relieved of his duties last week and suspicions and allegations that he had disclosed confidential documents was the cause, several Government sources have independently told the Samoa Observer.
But the Attorney-General, Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale, has not responded to several written requests inquiring about the circumstances surrounding his termination.
One senior prosecutor who declined to be named because they were unauthorised to speak to the media told the Samoa Observer that Mr Sauaga was physically escorted out of the office following his termination.
The Samoa Observer has contacted Mr. Sauaga for comment, but has not responded.
Initial emails seeking comment were sent to both Mr. Sauaga and the Attorney-General last Friday.
But Mr. Sauaga’s case is not the first sign of disquiet within the Attorney-General’s office and its prosecutorial division.
In August, the lead prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division, Magele Leone Mailo-Sua, resigned from her post.
Magele had been employed with the Attorney General's Office for nearly 15 years; in October she announced she was transitioning to private practice.
Her resignation came weeks after Savalenoa was appointed to the organisation’s top job following the surprise resignation of her predecessor, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff in February.
Mr. Sauaga of Vaiusu and Fagafau Savaii was admitted into the bar in 2018.
Mr. Sauaga was the prosecutor who had charge of a number of cases in the Supreme Court, including an arson case in Fagaloa in which three men were charged for setting two houses alight in September last year.
The defendants Pisi Atiifale, Vaiafai Tulima and Sosaiete Fuiava have been charged with arson and appeared before Justice Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma.
He was also involved in a high-profile case that occurred in 2019 where a dispute over a cigarette between two young relatives allegedly ended in murder.
Mr. Sauga was also on the prosecutorial team for one of the most high profile cases of 2020, when former Cabinet Minister, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao, had more than one hundred charges against him dismissed.