Australian Federal Police denies report

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) remains committed to help Samoa despite the latest developments within the Ministry of Police.

AFP representative, Peter Timson, declined to comment on reports they had threatened to pull out over an incident at the station when the Police Commissioner, Fuiavaiiliili Egon Keil, was arrested and charged.

The Samoa Observer was told by a reliable source that A.F.P officials had tried to intervene to speak to Fuiava but they were threatened. 

Asked for a comment Timson said: “We are still in Samoa and we are not leaving. 

“There are a lot of people that you can talk to about what happened. But I cannot comment at this stage.”

Timson was also asked if the assistance for the Samoan police will be affected due to the current situation at the Ministry of Police. 

“Not at this stage,” he said. 

Questions were also sent to the Australian High Commission for a comment from High Commissioner, Sue Langford. 

In response via email, a statement from the High Commissioner said: “The Australian Federal Police continues to provide capacity building development assistance to the Samoa Police Service.” 

AFP began its partnership with the Samoan police in 2009 and operates within the framework of the Samoa Australia Partnership for Development. 

The relationship with the Samoa Police service and AFP is within the broader context of external support to Samoa’s law and justice sector.

In January this year, the Police Commissioner accepted a donation worth $41,500 tala of equipment from the AFP for Samoan Police. 

The donation includes six police detailed bikes, 12 video cameras, police caps and spare parts. 

In April 2013, Australia also donated six new police vehicles under the Samoa Australia Police Partnership to the then Samoa Police and Prison Service.  

Meanwhile, Samoa Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, has declined to comment on a call for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate internal issues at the Ministry of Police.

He told the Samoa Observer the in-fighting at the Ministry of Police is an issue for the government. 

The Ombudsman was asked for a comment in response to a call by Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Va’ai, urging the Ombudsman to clean up the Police system.

But Maiava was reluctant to talk about the current situation at Police.

“For him (Olo) there is a big problem somewhere,” said Maiava. 

“(It) should be examined fully I guess. What I’m trying to say, it’s an issue for government and it’s not for me to comment on.

“But as an ordinary citizen, any problem is worth of examination and understanding.”

Asked about the number of ghost letters penned by police officers alleging internal problems between Police officers and the management of the Ministry, the Ombudsman said he was unaware of them.

“I don’t read a lot of that stuff,” he said