22 Apr 2017

American Samoan officers not given pre-trial discovery

10:10 am on 22 April 2017

Four juvenile detention officers in American Samoa still haven't been given access to trial evidence despite being arrested and charged on felony charges almost a month ago.

The attorney for one of officers said at a hearing that they had not yet received pre-trial discovery from the government.

Okesene Alo, one of the charged officers, was in the High Court this week.

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa. Photo: noaa

Alo pleaded not guilty of 14 felonies including possession of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine and aiding and permitting the escape of a prisoner.

Alo remains in custody on $US50,000 bail.

When queried, Prosecutor Christy Dunn told the Chief Justice they are still waiting for a police report and don't know why there is a delay.

The court encouraged the government to provide discovery, including the police report, and set a pre-trial conference for June 30.

The trial is scheduled for the middle of next year.