Attorney General Su’a Hellen Wallwork advised against the filing of criminal charges against Deputy Ombudsman, Pepe Seiuli.
This was confirmed in a 9 September, 2021 letter obtained by Radio Polynesia, addressed to Deputy Police Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti.
Su’a pointed out the Attorney General’s office already reviewed the complaint of businessman Maualaivao Pat Ah Him against Pepe Maualaivao Seiuli, and issued legal advice on two occasions.
Earlier this month, Pepe was criminally charged by the Police.
The decision was made after the police retained new evidence that led to the new charges against the Deputy Ombudsman, said Acting Police Commissioner, Leiataua Samuelu Afamasaga in response to questions from the Radio Polynesia, at the time.
The complaint by Maualaivao is in connection to a heated argument pertaining to election matters during the Malie village council meeting last year.
Attorney General Su’a noted in her letter that their office received yet another request, for legal advice.
However in the end the Attorney General concluded that she “concur[s]” with previous advice rendered by former AG Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale on 4 November, 2020.
The Attorney General also cited court decision supporting their advice.
Su’a then concluded by saying that would be the last time the AG’s office would review the same file.
The letter reads, “Our office cannot offer any further review of the file, accordingly I return your file.”
Regarding the legal opinion by former AG, it was addressed to former Police Commissioner, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, back in November 2020, also obtained the Radio Polynesia.
Savalenoa says the complainant Maualaivao named witnesses present at the meeting however none of the witnesses “corroborated” his claims.
The former Attorney General at the time urged for this matter to be transferred to the Village Council of Malie to handle as they are empowered to do so under the Village Fono Act.
To date the Attorney General’s office has issued three legal opinions on this matter upon the request by the Ministry of Police.