27 Feb 2004

US authorities want evidence before launching inquiry into American Samoa corruption

8:32 am on 27 February 2004

The Office of US Attorney General John Ashcroft has asked American Samoa's Senate select Investigative Committee for evidence to support its request for a federal investigation into corruption in the American Samoa government.

A letter from the US Department of Justice to committee chairman, Senator Lualemaga Faoa, says before any investigation can be launched, there has to be specific and credible evidence that a public official may have committed a crime.

The letter says that evidence was not contained in the request from the Senator.

Lualemaga wrote to several federal officials in December last year asking for a federal inquiry because, he said, the local government was ignoring the committee's request to investigate cabinet members implicated in their hearings.