A Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that the US District Court for the District of Hawaii has jurisdiction over federal crimes committed in American Samoa.
And therefore, the Court has affirmed the District court's conviction and judgment of Kil Soo Lee, former owner of the now closed Daewoosa Samoa garment factory.
Lee was sentenced in June 2005 by the federal court in Honolulu to 40 years in prison for enslaving, starving and beating more than 200 Asian workers at the factory, and was ordered to pay 3 million US dollars restitution.
He appealed against his conviction and argued that his conviction and sentence are void because the federal court in Honolulu lack jurisdiction.
However, a Judge for the Court of Appeals said that the US District Court in Hawaii has jurisdiction over federal crimes committed in American Samoa as the US territory does not have a Federal District Court.