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New Justice CEO pledges to elevate the Ministry’s Administrative Services

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 03 FEBRUARY 2023: The new Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Justice & Courts Administration, Papali’i John Taimalelagi has pledged not only to elevate the service rendered by the ministry to the public, but to protect the integrity of the court and Judiciary.

Speaking at the Ava Ceremony to welcome the new CEO last Friday, Papalii responded to the concerns raised by the Acting Chief Justice, Niava Mata Tuatagaloa and other members of the Judiciary.

“We need the administration to work with us and protect the integrity of the Judiciary and this Court,” said Justice Tuatagaloa.

She called for the unity of the Judiciary and the Ministry in-order to carry out and deliver their duties together for the service to the country.

Court Niava ava
Court Niava ava

The Acting Chief Justice, Niava Mata Tuatagaloa taking her Ava during the welcome for the new CEO.

In recent years, the Judiciary had come under heavy attack by politicians and resulted in the former Prime Minister and a senior politician being convicted of contempt and scandalizing the court.

The Minister of Justice, Matamua VasatiPulufaga, joined the District Court Judges Leota Raymond Schuster, Alalatoa Rosela Papalii and Talasa Atoa and members of the Lands & Titles Court in welcoming Papalii and also issued words of advise to let bygones be bygones and concentrate on serving.

Papalii acknowledged the advice given and also urged the Judiciary not to give up easily but to continue advising them on areas to imprive and elevetae the Ministrys service to the public.

He also called on the Ministrys’ staff and reiterated the importance of working together as alluded to by members of the Judiciary.

“Working with you is not new and we need to work together with honesty and respect to ensure the smooth operations of our service to the Court and Samoa,” said Papalii.

court minister
court minister

The Minister of Justice, Matamua Vasati Pulufaga (right) with Papalii and District Court Judge Talasa Atoa.

Papalii served as the Ministrys’ CEO but was terminated after a Public Service Commission (PSC) investigation found him guilty of misconduct in 2019.

However, the investigation was seen as a diversion from the real investigation that never eventuated, that of the then Minister’s removal of certain court files pertaining to the Lands and Titles Court, he was doing research on.

On his re-appointment, Papalii acknowledged the Prime Minister and Cabinet for the trust and confidence given him to again lead the Ministry. He also acknowledged the service rendered by former CEO Moliei Simi Vaai and the staff.

The MJCA Minister Matamua Vasati Pulufana congratulated Papalii on the appointment and said that he will surely meet challenges along the way and that he should be patient and be firm.

The welcoming ceremony was well attended by members of the Judiciary and ministry staff.

Papalii started work on 01 February as the Ministrys’ new Chief Executive Officer.