Deidre Tautua – Fanene
The Commissioner of Police, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, has confirmed attempts to extradite from Australia, Mr. Tala Pauga, in connection with on going investigations into an alleged conspiracy to murder Prime Minister Tuilaepa.
Fuiavailili did not confirm whether Pauga is the fourth suspect in the alleged murder plot except the local police and its Australian counterparts are working together.
He said “processes are still in progress for extradition’ to legally have the suspect brought over to Samoa.
“I cannot go into a lot, but things are in the works going forward,” responded the Commissioner to questions by Newsline in a phone interview yesterday..
“There is a process in place now and we are working on extraditing him to Samoa.”
Fuiavailili is unable to put any time frame on legal clearance from Australia, in a difficult process his Ministry of Police must go through before they can proceed.
“We don’t know how long it will take because it can be a protracted exercise because there are a lot of things we have to go through so there is no set time on it.
“And of course we wanted to be the sooner the better but we are dealing with a lot of processes and we are dealing with a foreign nation as well.
“Everything has to be legal.”
The 41-year-old Tala Pauga is the man who threw a severed pigs head at PM Tuilaepa, during a reception by the Samoan community in Brisbane, at the inaugural flight of Samoa Airways direct flight from Apia.
He is a citizen of New Zealand and Australia and is from the village of Manono-tai.
He visited Samoa earlier in the year and was arrested and charged for falsely declaring on his immigration arrival card that he was never convicted of a crime.
He denied the charged at first but decided to reverse his plea to guilty and was given a monetary fine before he could return to Australia where he resides with his family.
His role in the alleged murder plot of the PM will only be determined based on whether the police will file any criminal charges against him.
Earlier this week three suspects in connection to the assassination allegation appeared in the Supreme Court.
Two of them Lema’i Faioso and Malele Atofu Paulo better known as King Faipopo are facing two charges of conspiracy to commit murder against the PM.
The third suspect Taualai Lailoa also appeared however he was ordered by Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clark to find a lawyer because of the seriousness of the charge he is facing.
Lema’i and Malele are remanded in custody while Lailoa is out on bail and they are scheduled to appear in court again next week.