30 Mar 2004

Row in American Samoa over jail abuse allegations

4:27 pm on 30 March 2004

A warden at American Samoa's correctional facility at Tafuna says he is considering taking a local newspaper to court for printing a story about an alleged prisoner beating.

The Samoa News alleged an inmate had been beaten by a prison warden while handcuffed to a post.

The paper said the prisoner's family had been denied a visit last week and claimed the inmate had been placed on lock down in a room with intense heat and no air circulation.

Prison warden, Mika Kelemete, says the story is a lie, and he says such beatings are against the law.

"I'm ready to obtain legal counsel to take this matter to court. What do you interpret as a lie. It's not right. They only get one side of thier story."

Meanwhile. a senate committee is taking Mika Kelemete to court for failing to show up at a Senate Select Investigative Committee looking into misconduct allegations at Tafuna.