20 Nov 2009

American Samoa's Assistant AG will not return to Territory following threats

8:55 am on 20 November 2009

American Samoa's Assistant Attorney General has quit her job after receiving deaths threats.

Lisa Teesch MacGuire, who had been the territory's head prosecutor, was allegedly threatened by the family of a convicted rapist in front of media and officials at the end of the man's trial last month.

Ms MacGuire received police protection following the threats but she has decided not to return from the US mainland after moving there last month.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Monica Miller, says she is not aware of such threats being made against a public official in the territory in the past.

"Mind you, there are other members of the family, the same family, that are awaiting trial for shooting at police vehicles a few months ago. So there are other elements, which I should not go into because the case is still pending, and for safety reasons, but definitely it has come as a shock that she faced such a public threat."

The sister of the rapist is now facing charges over the threats.