Commissioner considers repealing Criminal Libel Act


The Ministry of Police, Prisons and Correction Services is investigating options for the 2013 Criminal Libel Act to be treated as a Civil Matter in court between a plaintiff and defendant which will eliminate police involvement in the process. 

Savali reported the call by Police and Prisons Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo surfaced during the weekly Press Conference Wednesday and in response to persistent media inquiries to the criminal complaint filed by Minister of Works Olo Fiti Vaai against Former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi.

The case file has since been referred back to Police by the Office of the Attorney General for further review before proceeding with any court actions. The case remains active pending further review by police per instructions from the Attorney General.

And in light of the merry go round between Police and A.G. Commissioner Auapaau feels that it is in the best interest of justice that the Criminal Libel Act be removed.

According to Savali, for Auapaau’s wish to become a reality, a constitutional amendment is needed to be approved by Parliament.

As for Olo’s criminal complaint, police submitted it findings for legal review by the AG’s Office last year.

And a few days ago, the Commissioner acknowledged that they received further instructions from the AG’s Office to review 2 issues to “further strengthen” the charges if it goes before the Court.

And as of press time, the complaint against the former Government Leader is still active, reaffirms Auapaau.