APIA: SUNDAY: 26 MAY 2013: The Minister of Finance, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga has not breached any “offence provisions”.
This is word from the Attorney General Aumua Ming Leung Wai in response to the Tautua Party (Opposition) as to why he has not prosecuted the Minister given widespread allegations of corruption and misuse of office listed in a petition by some MPs of the Human Rights Protection Party against the Minister.
“If he has not breached any offence provisions, then he cannot be prosecuted,” says the AG in a press statement released in the weekend.
The AG says he has just been back from overseas duties and delayed his response.
“I have been asked to respond to comments made by the Tautua party as to why I have not prosecuted Hon. Faumuina Liuga.
“Please let me qualify my response by stating that my comments are restricted only to the legal side of things. And before I can answer, let me first explain the two main types of proceedings that can be brought before the Court: criminal proceedings and civil proceedings.
“Criminal proceedings arise because someone has allegedly breached an offence provision in our statute laws. An offence provision is a generally a statutory provision which provides for penalties, usually a monetary fine or term of imprisonment.
“Not all provisions in our laws are “offence provisions”.
“There are also provisions that I would call “quasi-offence provisions” relating to surcharges that can be enforced by the CEO of the Ministry of
Finance. Again, from my preliminary review of the Hon. Minister has not breached any such provision,” the statement ended.