NZ based lawyer to prosecute the Director of National Prosecutions case

NZ based lawyer Satiu Simativa Perese

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 14 OCTOBER 2016: New Zealand based lawyer, Satiu Simativa Perese has been confirmed to prosecute the charges against the suspended Director of the National Prosecutions Office, Ms. Mauga Precious Chang.

The Attorney General Lemalu Herman Retzlaff who has assumed the duties of the NPO said
“Local barristers approached previously and recently have for professional and conflict reasons, now declined to prosecute the Mauga Chang matter and those decisions are respected.”

Lemalu said given work already done and to remove all risks of local conflicts in this case, the decision is that it will remain with Satiu.

He said a decision was also to engage an independent prosecutor for the suspended Police Commissioner and that will be confirmed soon.

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi this week told the Savali, “The NPO is not currently under the Attorney General. It just happens that the NPO’s new Acting Director is the Attorney General. The NPO itself is still fulfilling its statutory functions and obligations.”

Tuilaepa clariffied that this is a temporary measure while a Tribunal, which has now been appointed, assesses the work of the suspended Director and suspended Acting Director of the NPO.

“But considering the way the NPO has been operating, I think it’s understandable that Cabinet is also considering a review of the validity of the NPO.”

He also said that the NPO has a clear responsibility to uphold the rule of law and objectivity of the criminal justice system.

“What we’ve seen has been the opposite of that.  There has been a distinct lack of wisdom in decision-making, stemming from conflicts of interest that have not been handled in the proper manner.
In this case, the actions of the NPO leadership was cause for concern and Cabinet made a decision to remedy that,” explained the Prime Minister.