18 Feb 2006

Ex-PM asked me to suppress corruption report, says Samoa Party head

11:17 am on 18 February 2006

The leader of the Samoa Party, Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong has revealed that the late Prime Minister had asked him to suppress details of a report on public corruption.

Tofilau Eti Alesana asked Su'a, then auditor general, to suppress the names of four ministers in the ruling Human Rights Protection Party implicated in the report.

At the Samoa Party weekly press conference Su'a said Tofilau had told him he wanted to deal with the ministers himself.

Su'a says he told Tofilau he could not do what he was asking and made it clear that he worked for the country.

Su'a claims he was later sacked, but the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele says Su'a walked out because the Cabinet turned down some of his demands.

According to Tuilaepa, this included post approval of money Su'a had wrongfully spent.

Su'a denied this saying the money in question had been authorised and properly spent.

He said if the problems highlighted in his report had been addressed, two former ministers would not be in jail now, and another would not have been killed.

The public works minister Luagalau Levaula Kamu was assassinated outside a function for the ruling party in July 1999.

Two of his fellow ministers were later found guilty of plotting his murder.