17 Mar 2005

Up to the people to decide on federal court system in American Samoa, says Public Defender

8:04 pm on 17 March 2005

The Chairman of the American Samoa Republican Party says it is up to the people of American Samoa to decide whether a federal court system should be established in the territory.

Tautai Aviata Faalevao is a former attorney general and the current public defender.

He says Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin is using the recent searches by the FBI to push his agenda to include the territory in the federal court system.

But Tautai says the FBI would not have moved in if local law enforcement agencies did their work.

"The FBI came down here because our law enforcement people failed to undertake their responsibilities. The Federal District Court issue is not new. This has been brought to our attention in the early 1980s and it still has not been implemented. The Congress and the people in Washington DC are very slow in dealing with the issue."

The Chairman of the American Samoa Republican Party, Tautai Aviata Faalevao