10 Mar 2005

American Samoa says FBI may have broken law

2:33 pm on 10 March 2005

American Samoa's Attorney General, Sialega Malaetasi Togafau, says agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have violated local law during their surprise visit and search of government offices last week.

Sialega has told the legislature the federal agents did not go through immigration clearance when their aircraft arrived very early last Thursday morning as there were no immigration agents on duty at the airport at the time.

He said the local agent for military flights should have given 12 hours notice before the aircraft's arrival but this did not happen.

Sialega said it would appear that the agents have overstepped local law and this is something that should be taken up with higher authorities

Meanwhile, the territory's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says he is concerned about agents from another state coming into the territory to execute federal warrants.

He says he's seriously considering introducing legislation establishing a federal district court in American Samoa.

"which will then require not only a district federal judge, we'll have our own US attorney, we'll have our own US marshal and all this will be under the auspices of the federal government and people who allegedly violate federal laws which apply to American Samoa will be prosecuted in American Samoa."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin