28 Oct 2016

Fugitive murder suspect case continued in American Samoa

11:23 am on 28 October 2016

The plea case of a man who fled Tonga before he was to appear in court there for the murder of his wife has been continued to next Wednesday in American Samoa.

The yacht Sea Oak

Murder suspect Dean Fletcher sailed to American Samoa where he was arrested by local officials. Photo: Tauva Esera

US citizen Dean Fletcher was to enter a plea agreement in which the government would dismiss the charge of illegal entry into the territory against him and he would return to Tonga to stand trial.

However the government requested a continuance in the case yesterday to allow time for negotiations with officials from Tonga concerning Mr Fletcher's case .

District Court Judge Fiti Sunia allowed the continuance for one week and reminded the government that the courts calendar is not at the whim of the Tongan parties.

He then continued the case till next Wednesday.

The Tongan government has been negotiating with the US State Department for the extradition of Mr Fletcher to Tonga to stand trial for the murder of his wife.

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