30 Apr 2007

American Samoa government offers to pay back fine of Samoa Shipping Corporation

6:06 am on 30 April 2007

The American Samoa Government has offered to reimburse the 20-thousand US dollar fine the Samoa Shipping Corporation paid last year for transporting a rugby team from Samoa to Pago Pago without entry permit.

The lawyer for Treasury, Benton Walton, has informed the Samoa Shipping Corporation's attorney that consultations have found that no laws of the territory were violated by Samoa Shipping in conjunction with this issue.

Mr Walton has agreed with the Corporation's attorney that since the rugby team never left the MV Lady Naomi, no laws were violated.

He says he's informed the Corporation's attorney that American Samoa's Treasuer is prepared to refund the money upon receipt of written assurance that such payment will satisfy all claims against the American Samoa Government, and that a lawsuit pending in the High Court will be dismissed without prejudice.

The fine was imposed by the late Attorney General Sialega Malaetasi Togafau after the Lady Naomi carried a rugby team invited for the Mosooi festival.

The rugby team was from the National University of Samoa.