29 Mar 2004

American Samoa jail probe to go to court

2:05 pm on 29 March 2004

The chairman an anti-corruption committee in American Samoa says investigations into misconduct at the Territorial Correctional Facility won't progress until April the 13th.

The territory's media have reported instances of beatings and cruelty to prisoners and sex offences against women prisoners at the Tafuna facility.

Lualemaga Faoa of the Senate Select Investigative Committee says his group is taking Warden Mika Kelemete and the Commissioner of Public Safety Tuiteleapaga to court over their handling of the allegations.

"The SSIC is not in point to question the warden and commissioner of public safety because we are following an action in court for contempt citation against the warden and the commissioner for not showing up before the SSIC hearing."

Lualemaga says the Attorney-General Fiti Sunia is also being taken to court because it is alleged he directed the warden and commissioner not to attend the SSIC hearings.

The three men are due to appear in court on April the 13th.