15 Dec 2008

Samoa PM says associate minister's US citizenship restored

11:36 am on 15 December 2008

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has supported the dismissal of immigration criminal charges in the United States against one of his government's associate ministers, Hans Joachim Keil, and says there is proof of Mr Keil's US citizenship, which has now been restored.

The prime minister says he accepted a request from the US state department for further inquiries into records of the associate minister, and his mother's, country of birth before the court decision was announced last Friday.

Tuila'epa says the information provided contributed to the good news of the decision to drop all charges.

Meanwhile, Mr Keil has told the local media from the United States the 25,000 US dollars already paid of his bail conditions has been ordered by the court to be refunded.

He says he is overwhelmed with the support and looking forward to return to Samoa next week. Ends