19 Jan 2010

American Samoa government ordered to refund fine

10:03 am on 19 January 2010

The American Samoa Government has been ordered to refund the Samoa Shipping Corporation the sum of 20 thousand US dollars plus interest instead of waiting for the results of an appeal.

Associate Justice Lyle Richmond today verbally granted a motion by the attorney for Samoa Shipping Corporation for the government to pay the refund, which was for a fine that ASG imposed on the corporation for bringing a school rugby team to the territory without entry permits.

In May, the high court ruled that the Samoa Shipping Corporation never landed the rugby team in American Samoa, since the members remained on the Lady Naomi.

It ordered the government refund the $20,000 plus interest.

The Attorney General's Office asked for reconsideration and or a new trial which the High Court denied, and then filed an appeal.

The attorney for Samoa Shipping Corporation David Vargas says until now the government has not paid the judgment and asked that the court order ASG to pay up.

Assistant Attorney General Clifton Hardy says since the Samoa Shipping Corporation was a foreign company it will be difficult to get the money back if ASG wins on appeal.