1 Mar 2017

Tribunal recommends removal of senior official in Samoa

10:38 am on 1 March 2017

A tribunal in Samoa has recommended the suspended Director of the National Prosecution Office Mauga Precious Chang be removed from office.

Precious Chang

NPO Director Mauga Precious Chang right with her lawyer. Photo: Tipi Autagavaia

But it recommended the office's assistant director Muriel Lui not be removed.

The tribunal had been ordered to investigate whether the pair had breached codes of conduct in their actions relating to traffic offence charges against Ms Chang.

The National Prosecution Tribunal was chaired by a New Zealand lawyer, Sir Grant Hammond and included a former Attorney General of Samoa, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, and a senior lawyer representing the Samoa Law Society, Alalatoa Rosella Papali'i.

Assistant Director Miruel Lui left and her lawyers.

Assistant Director Muriel Lui, left, and her lawyers. Photo: Tipi Autagavaia

Their report was handed to the Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, on Monday.

The tribunal was blunt in its criticism of Ms Chang.

It said she was badly in error despite a warning from the Attorney General and the Prime Minister that she should 'separate herself from the prosecution of herself.'

The Tribunal said she was under significant constitutional prescriptions but when suspended she determinedly clung to the position she had taken up.

This, it said, was all contrary to public service values.

Ms Chang ignored the conflict of impropriety that while facing charges in her personal capacity she still sought to appoint her own choice of prosecutor.

It concluded Ms Lui was in a different position and had no involvement in the delegation by Ms Chang of her own prosecution.

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