NO REPORTING OF SAMOA PM POLICE FILE INQUIRY PERMITTED

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APIA, Samoa (April 29, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Reporters in Samoa have been allowed to attend the Commission of Inquiry now under way into the disappearance and re-appearance of the police file of the Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana. But they are not permitted to report what they hear.

"You're allowed to come in, but no publication," said Commission Chairman Maiava Iulai Toma today.

Maiava, also Samoa’s Ombudsman, imposed the same policy when he chaired the Commission of Inquiry into allegations made about former Controller and Chief Auditor Sua Rimoni Ah Chong's audit report of 1994.

The present Commission of Inquiry began deliberations last Friday.

It is investigating the disappearance and the re-appearance of the file that contains a record showing that the Prime Minister was convicted and fined twice on two counts of theft in 1966.

Both the police and prisons departments initially informed Parliament that no such record existed, but the Commissioner of Police, Asi Semisi Blakelock, later told Parliament in a letter that one did exist and was found while he was overseas.

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