16 Oct 2006

Watchdog says breach in Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong conviction in Samoa appears inadvertent

3:45 pm on 16 October 2006

Transparency International New Zealand is throwing its support behind Samoan politician Sua Rimoni Ah Chong, who was recently convicted of election bribery.

Sua was a noted chief auditor in Samoa in the 1990s who was forced out of the position after he identified corrupt activities within the government.

He contested this year's election but was convicted of bribery after claims he had given a gift to a voter were upheld.

Transparency International New Zealand says in a statement that any legal breach appears to have been inadvertent.

It says it also notes that the judgement is being appealed.

Sua was given an integrity award by Transparency International in 2003 in recognition of his work when chief auditor.

He returned the award after the conviction saying he did not want to tarnish the reputation of Transparency International.