5 Dec 2007

Inquiry head in Samoa says court staff need formal warning after corruption allegations

2:30 pm on 5 December 2007

A Samoa commission of inquiry says it wants a formal warning to be issued to all land court staff following allegations of corruption.

The Commission, whose brief was to look at gaps between the authority of village councils and the formal courts, heard claims of dishonesty among staff at the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration.

This included altering information on court cases and accepting bribes.

The Commission's chair, Ulu Tuilagi Vaomalo Ulu Kini, says the extent of corruption is not yet clear.

But he says the registrar of the Land and Titles Court should issue a warning to staff.

"To do their job honestly and sincerely. If there is some sort of conflict they're supposed to leave out that and do the work correctly and loyally to what they're appointed to do."

Ulu Tuilagi says a new commission will look into the corruption claims on a case-by-case basis.

He says the report is due to go to Parliament on December 17.