Police investigate Deputy PM, Associate Minister, says PM

BY Alan Ah Mu

Deputy PM Fonotoe Nuafesili Lauofo & Associate Minister Muagututagata Peter Ah Him

Deputy PM Fonotoe Nuafesili Lauofo & Associate Minister Muagututagata Peter Ah Him under Police investigation

No one is above the law.

An investigation by Police into the events of the night of Friday 4 October involving Deputy Prime Minister Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo and Associate Minister Muagututagata Peter Ah Him is under way, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said.

“No decision will be made while Police are doing their work,” Tuilaepa said on state radio 2AP this afternoon.

“When it’s finished then we’ll know what should be done,” he said.

Any Member of Parliament who says the Prime Minister should make a decision on the matter now is stupid, he said.

The Opposition has called on Fonotoe and Muagututagata to resign their seats in Parliament.

The Prime Minister said that under our law no one is guilty until proven so by a court.

Government is not interfering with the Police’s work – nor is the Police holding back because the person involved is the Deputy Prime Minister, he said.

A Police report says that Muagututagata was stopped by one of their patrols on 4 October because he had U-turned illegally on Main Beach Road.

Three attempts to breath-test the Associate Minister with a breathalyser were made because Muagututagata did not blow hard enough into the machine, the report says.

He was given the test because he looked to be under the influence of alcohol, it says.

Acting Commissioner of Police at the time Afamasaga Michael Soonalole issued a statement to media to say the Associate Minister was breath-tested three times and the results were all negative.

Then Muagututagata was let go, his statement said.

The statement was issued after the Acting Police Commissioner and Fonotoe had discussed the incident of 4 October in the Deputy PM’s office.

The Police report says however that Fonotoe stopped by while a fourth attempt to test Muagututagata was being attempted.

Fonotoe told the Associate Minister to drive off which was what happened, the report says.

Muagututagata denied being stopped by Police that Friday night, and that he was not even in town then.

Fonotoe denied he had interfered with Police work.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Soonalole is no longer Acting Police Commissioner.

That job is rotated amongst the five Assistant Commissioners of Police for now while the Commissioner of Police is under suspension.

It has now been passed to Assistant Commissioner Leiataua Fata Aviga Salale.

Assistant Commissioner Fauono Tala Tapu said charges should be laid against the two politicians.

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