Samoa Police Commissioner Again Faces Weapons Charges

Keil arrested, charged, suspended by Cabinet pending investigation

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Nov. 14, 2016) – The Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil was arrested and charged with more than 10 new charges today.

The Acting Police Commissioner, Samoa Mulinuu Mulinuu confirmed the charges.

“One charge is incite to murder, and more than 10 charges of registering unlawful weapons,” said Mulinuu.

He said the charge of incite to murder aroused from an incident in 2015, during a raid at Faleatiu, where Fuiavailili allegedly ordered a police officer to kill someone.

Mulinuu said the person that was targeted was not armed whereas the police were heavily armed.

As for the charges of registering unlawful weapons, Mulinuu said the Commissioner instead of destroying some of the unlawful weapons collected from the amnesty programme, he allegedly registered these guns and handed them over to the police Tactical Operational Squad (TOS) to be used during raids.

Mulinuu could not identify the number of unlawful guns registered but confirmed that the “Commissioner has no authority to register those guns.”

Mulinuu said what the Commissioner did with regards to the guns, means that the Ministry of Police is using unlawful weapons.

Ministry was not inform of the Commissioners reinstatement
Mulinuu said the Ministry was not informed that the Commissioner was  being reinstated after almost 6 months of suspension.

Last Friday, four criminal charges against the Commissioner were withdrawn over the lack of evidence and Cabinet acted immediately to reinstate him.

“We did not receive any Cabinet Directive until this morning,” said Mulinuu.

“We were surprised when he turned up for work today, and he was also surprised when he was informed of the new charges,” said Samoa.

[PIR editor's note: On November 15, 2016 Talamua reported that 'Cabinet has confirmed the suspension of Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil, pending investigations and a court decision on charges filed against him.']

Order to investigate came from Minister

Mulinuu said police has been investigating the allegations for a while, long before the court case last week.

“Our investigation was based on an order from the Minister of Police,” said Mulinuu.

“We were also planning on informing the Commissioner of his charges today, but we were shocked when he came to the office, so we informed and arrested him here at the office,” said Mulinuu.

“This is nothing personal, as if the police were targeting the Commissioner, but we are doing our work. If it was me, it would be the same as the police need to carry out our work,” said Mulinuu.

The Commissioner was placed under police custody around 9.00am until a Court Registrar released him in the afternoon.

Copyright © 2016 Talamua. All Rights Reserved

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