Good on you Siripa Uelese for speaking up

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Dear Editor,

Interesting to read your front page story on the Sunday Samoan.

There is more to this story. The role of the National Prosecution Office (N.P.O.) is to build a case against the defendant using all the available evidence. 

Siripa was doing her job in that regard.

The problem is that the person she was building the case against happened to be the head of the department that employs her. 

To put herself in this position is courageous (some would say foolish) and I have no doubt that she felt there was enough evidence and a strong enough case to make herself vulnerable like that.

When the charges were dismissed this left her very exposed within the Police force with many senior and powerful enemies who wanted revenge - hence why she was suspended on a spurious matter then had the suspension lifted within a couple of days. 

It was obvious at that point that senior Police wanted to make her pay for trying to prosecute their beloved Commissioner. 

There is no truly independent Police review board to investigate their conduct - they are largely self regulating which means that the police do what the police want and of course when you have the P.M. as the Minister of Police it is clear that impartiality and reason aren’t going to be present. 

It is the Old Boys Club protecting themselves.

In the absence of any other form of career protection, Siripa has done the only thing she could to protect herself which was to resign from a department to which she had dedicated her entire career.

Unfortunately even that may not be enough to protect her and it is probable some other persecution will continue such as “routine” traffic stops.

The Commissioner is trying to distance himself from this by claiming ‘independent prosecutors” and “tribunals” are being used. The truth is that they are not independent at all.

I truly hope that this outcome does not discourage other serving Police officers to stand up against things they see as wrong and illegal.

 

Sitivi

Samoa

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