POLICE FILE CONFIRMS SAMOAN PRIME MINISTER WAS

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CATTLE THIEF

APIA, Samoa (March 30, 1998, - PACNEWS/Ioane)---After months of denials, a rediscovered police file has confirmed that Samoa's Prime Minister, Tofilau Eti Alesana, is a convicted thief.

Now 73, the aging Alesana had told the country, "I have never stolen anything in my life because I am a son of a church minister."

But a file found by police in their archive shows that in June 1966, Alesana, then 41, was convicted of two counts of cattle theft and fined while a Lalomalava village chief.

He also was convicted on a civil charge while an employee of a local wholesaler.

Earlier attempts to locate the file following accusations of theft by the opposition led to both the Police Commissioner and the Secretary of Justice introducing sworn statements in Parliament that no such police documents existed.

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