New suspensions cause concern among Samoa police

The latest suspension of the investigating officer of more than 200 charges laid against the Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, is being questioned and criticised in Samoa.

A police corporal who is the complainant of charges of procuring, inciting, and counselling murder against the suspended police commissioner has also been suspended along with the police superintendent.

The timing of the suspensions, delivered to the Ministry of Police late Friday, has also been questioned because an application by the Police Commissioner's defense for access to evidence will be heard in court today.

A leaked copy of the cabinet decision said the suspension will allow an appropriate investigation based on the requirements of the law.

The two suspended constables who were the arresting officers for the Police Commissioner have been referred to the Police Professional Standards Unit for an investigation.

Police sources said they were concerned the independence of the police to carry out justice and to perform duties in enforcing the law has been threatened.

Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia (Samoa's Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil)