Court orders Australian Federal Police to investigate detention of Samoan man

A court has ordered the Australian Federal Police to re-open an investigation into its handling of the arrest of a man who's wanted by Samoan authorities over an alleged assassination plot.

Talalelei Pauga has been in custody in Queensland since August last year after the Samoan government requested his extradition on a charge of conspiring to murder the former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

His lawyer Greg Finlayson says Pauga complained to the AFP about the length of time it took to bring him before a magistrate after his arrest.

"He was arrested on the 20th of August 2020 and he was kept away from his lawyers and in confinement until the first time he was brought before a magistrate ... on the 21st of September," Finlayson said.

"Mr Pauga filed a complaint with the AFP and their investigations unit and they summarily ceased to investigate it without any communication with Mr Pauga or his solicitors".

Paugu, who's a dual Australian and Samoan citizen, went to the Federal Court to challenge the AFP's stance and the court has ordered a fresh examination.

"They (AFP) have to conduct a fresh investigation into the circumstances around Mr Pauga's arrest and the conduct of the arresting officer," Finlayson said.

Meanwhile Pauga's legal fight against his potential extradition continues in the Federal Court with a challenge to recent Magistrates Court decision that he is eligible to be sent to Samoa.


Photo file Talalelei Pauga