31 Mar 2009

American Samoa apologises for killing of Vanuatu man

10:01 am on 31 March 2009

American Samoa has offered an official apology to the people and government of Vanuatu for the death of a Vanuatu native, Jimmy Brown Leo.

He was allegedly beaten to death by two American Samoan teenagers in Pago Pago last month.

The apology was outlined in a letter that the Acting Governor, Faoa Sunia, personally presented to the Vanuatu President, Kalkot Mataskelekele.

The president was among 1,200 passengers onboard the cruiseship Pacific Dawn, that docked in Pago Pago on Friday.

Mr Sunia also offered his own personal apology to Mr Mataskelekele during a meeting and luncheon.

In the letter, Mr Sunia offered the apology on behalf of the government and people of American Samoa, calling the incident that led to Mr Leo's death most unfortunate and brutal.

He says the incident is deplorable and not reflective of Samoan values and culture and the leaders and people are very saddened by it.

The prosecutor alleges that the pair beat 40-year old Mr Leo because he tried to rape one of the young men's sister.