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APIA, Samoa (April 22, 1998 - PACNEWS/Tohi)---Samoa's cabinet has appointed a Commission of Inquiry to look into why the file containing Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana's conviction on two counts of theft in 1966, was missing from the Police, Prisons and Fire Department.

The file resurfaced in the Department last month..

Government spokesman Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says, in announcing the appointment of the commission, that the fact that the file was lost temporarily was illegal. Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, is Chairperson of the four-member commission.

Opposition leader Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi told Parliament he had a copy of the Prime Minister's file, which he tabled in Parliament as evidence of his allegation that the Prime Minister was a convicted thief.

Amidst repeated denials by Tofilau, Commissioner of Police Asi Blakelock and the Justice Department early this year were ordered to search their files for such a record, but both reported to Parliament that it did not exist. In March, however, Asi reported to Parliament that the missing record had been discovered by some of his officers.

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