25 Apr 2006

Panamanian held for 70 days in American Samoa to have deportation hearing

4:24 pm on 25 April 2006

A Panamanian national, who has been held in American Samoa for more than 70 days, will appear at the Immigration Board this week for a deportation hearing.

The lawyer for Jorge Pinto, Mark Ude says he received a written notification about the April 26th hearing.

But he says its the first government deportation hearing that he is aware of during the 10 years he has been in the territory.

Mr Pinto, a fishing boat crew member, was taken into custody after being picked up for a public peace disturbance early this year, and since then the government has not filed any charges against the defendant.

Mr Ude says he is curious as to why his client is still in jail because he has not been officially charged with a crime.

The attorney general's office has been summoned by the High Court for a May 5th hearing to explain why Mr Pinto is been detained.