Samoa Tables Amendment To Give Prosecutors Powers To Attorney General

Proposed move could decrease the cost of operating a separate prosecution arm, lessen potential conflict of interests

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, December 30, 2016) – Samoa's Prime Minister has tabled a constitutional amendment bill aimed at removing the appointment of the Director of Public Prosecutions and returning its powers and duties to the Attorney General.

Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi presented the bill for its first reading last week during the last sitting of parliament for 2016.

The Samoa Observer reports the Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff as saying the change will decrease the cost of operating a separate prosecution arm.

He said it will also lessen instances of conflict of interest with the Attorney General overseeing all prosecution cases.

The Observer also said the National Prosecutions Office, (NPO), and the office of the Attorney General were recently separated.

In September the NPO moved against Lemalu's decision to hire a New Zealand lawyer to prosecute criminal charges against the Police Commissioner.

The acting director of the NPO also clashed with the Attorney General in October over who would prosecute the Director of Prosecutions Mauga Precious Chang who was suspended after being charged with driving offences.

She was found not guilty earlier this month.

Radio New Zealand International
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