22 Feb 2017

Decision pending on Samoa police chief return to work

From , 4:03 pm on 22 February 2017

A return to work by Samoa's police chief remains up in the air.

Fuivailili Egon Keil had been charged with 265 offences but earlier this week they were all dismissed by the Supreme Court due to insufficient evidence.

The Samoa Attorney General had hired a private prosecutor from New Zealand, Nigel Hampton QC, who asked the court to withdraw the charges.

He said there were several reasons why the charges should be dismissed, including that the interviews of potential witnesses had not been done to an acceptable standard and that appropriate legal advice was not sought before the charges were laid.

Mr Keil had had a background with the police in Los Angeles, but prior to being hired he was a civilian residing in Samoa.

Don Wiseman spoke with our correspondent in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, and began by asking him why the government had appointed someone from outside the Samoa police force to the job.

Samoa's Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil.

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