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The government is seeking legal advice after King Tupou VI endorsed Police Commissioner Steve Caldwell’s contract extension.
Caldwell has been given another two years to control the Force after the extension was approved by the Privy Council last week Wednesday 11 April 2018. His contract expired on April 14.
The Minister of Police, Mateni Tapueluelu, said the government believed Caldwell was no longer fit for the job.
He said the government has not asked the New Zealand government to activate its funding scheme which paid majority of the Commissioner’s pay.
The government said it believed the Privy Council overstepped its bounds when it made the decision to prolong the contract.
Tapueluelu said the government also believed the King in Privy Council had received bad advice from his Appointment Panel before he approved Caldwell’s extension.
Tapueluelu said the Commissioner’s contract documents clearly said it was a contract between the government of the kingdom of Tonga and Caldwell.
He said section 10 of the Police Act gave the Privy Council only three requirements under the Police commissioner’s appointment process.
It said: “Having received advice from the Judicial Appointments and Discipline Panel, the King in Privy Council — (a) shall appoint the Commissioner; (b) shall determine his terms of appointment; and (c) in accordance with section 13 may dismiss him.”
The Minister of Police said the rest of the requirements by law to make sure the Commissioner’s contract was well looked after was under an “executive” role given to the Cabinet. This included taking care of his pay, days off and other entitlements.
As reported earlier, the government told the New Zealand Prime Minister in a meeting in Tonga recently that the kingdom no longer wanted Caldwell.
Caldwell’s appointment was approved by the king in a process in which His Majesty was advised by a panel of law lords including Lord Dalgety and the Acting Attorney General ‘Aminiasi Kefu.... PACNEWS
SOURCE: KANIVA TONGA NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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