Acting Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions ‘Aminiasi Kefu said an allegation by the Minster of Police aired on Radio FM 87.5 against the Police Commissioner was absolutely incorrect and untruthful.
The Acting Attorney General was responding after Police Minister Māteni Tapueluelu reportedly said the arrests of the political leaders was an attempt by the Commissioner to extend his contract which will end in April.
“I do not believe that this is clear from him trying to be seen favourably by the Government and to justify that he should continue,” a statement from the Attorney General’s office quoted Hon. Tapueuelu as saying.
“And we do not want work to be pushed when the contract is nearly completed and then we make moves to do something,” the statement said of the Minister.
As Kaniva News reported last week, Police have arrested and charged former Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakanō with passport offences, money laundering and bribery.
About one day later Police arrested and charged the Minister of Internal Affairs and her husband with various fraud related charges.
Tapueluelu, who returned to his office this week after his resignation was rejected by the Prime Minister, told Kaniva News he was concerned over “lack of supervision” by the Ministry of Police under the control of Mr Caldwell.
He tendered his resignation on February 27 after Cabinet did not support his submission to recommend the Privy Council’s Judicial Appointment and Discipline Panel to sack Mr. Caldwell.
Kefu said Hon. Tapueluelu’s allegation implied that these arrests and laying of criminal charges was conducted with improper motives and methods.
“The Attorney General’s Office wishes to state that this allegation is absolutely incorrect and untruthful.”
“The allegation has been made without the full knowledge and appreciation of the process or the contents of the Tonga Police investigation, and the support provided to the Tonga Police investigation by the Attorney General’s Office.
“The Attorney General’s Office regrets that is has been forced once again to make a media release regarding criminal matters before the Courts, especially to counter an allegation made by a Cabinet Minister.
However this media release has to be made because of the allegation made, and in the interests of protecting the course of justice, the integrity of the criminal investigation and criminal prosecution that has commenced arising from these investigations, and also to protect the reputations of the Police investigators and Crown prosecutors who have worked loyally, tirelessly and professionally behind the scenes to bring these matters before the Courts for final determination, so that justice may prevail.”
The Minister of Police was contacted for comment.
You can follow this link to read the full statement by the Attorney General’s office.
Kiliki ‘i he halangaope ko ‘eni ke ke lau kakato ‘a e fakamatala faka-Tonga mei he ‘Ofisi ‘Ateni Seniale.