4 Nov 2013

Samoan minister under police investigation complains against officers

2:56 pm on 4 November 2013

The Samoan Associate Minister of Trade, Commerce and Industries has lodged a complaint against a police officer who breath-tested him.

According to the Samoa Observer, Muagututagata Peter Ah Him is under investigation by the police, after he reportedly drove away from officers who suspected him of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The incident last month also implicated the Deputy Prime Minister Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, who police allege told Muagututagata to drive away.

Muagututagata says he has lodged a complaint because the policeman refused to change the mouthpiece for the breathalyser machine, and says his actions were irresponsible, dangerous and risky in spreading diseases.

The police have confirmed that the investigation includes the conduct of the police.

The opposition leader, Palusalue Fa'apo, says the ministers should have been arrested, and the Ombudsman should be put in charge of an independent investigation.