19 Dec 2006

Samoa defers passing of police powers bill

4:13 pm on 19 December 2006

Samoa's parliament has postponed the passing of the new Police Powers bill.

This follows a motion asking to extend the time to review controversial provisions of the proposed legislation.

The bills committee chairman, MP Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, has told parliament that many individuals have voiced opinions rejecting some parts of the bill but he gave no details .

The local umbrella of non-governmental organisations and the national council of churches have objected to the provision of arming the police and allowing a possible foreign military intervention.

Meanwhile, the President of the police association and former police commissioner, Saunoamaali'i Sonny Schuster, says it's not new for police to be armed.

He says the bill will for the first time legalise the arming of police.