Warrant against Minister a surprise – P.M. says

A report about an outstanding warrant of arrest for the Minister of Justice and Courts Administration, Faaolesa Katopau Ainu’u, in American Samoa has taken him by surprise.

That’s what Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, said yesterday when he was asked to comment on a report in Samoa News about the matter.

“I have spoken with the Minister who is shocked about it,” said Tuilaepa. 

“He said he has contacted his lawyer in American Samoa who is also shocked about it. (From what I’ve been told) the matter had been resolved long time ago but it has been dug up again.”

Asked for a comment, Fa’aolesa, the M.P for Vaimauga West, said he was unaware about the warrant. He asked to have a copy of the document before he could comment. 

Copies of the warrant were sent to him via email yesterday.

By press time last night, he had not responded.

The warrant was issued by the American Samoa Attorney General’s office in 2008, containing a number of allegations.  

Speaking to the media yesterday, Tuilaepa said that from his conversation with the Minister, the matter had been long resolved.

 “If you remember, there is always someone who tries to dig up something on someone when they are up there,” he said adding that he expects a correction from the newspaper.

A copy of the warrant obtained by the Samoa Observer shows that it was signed by Associate Justice John L. Ward. It was issued during the time of Fepulea’i Arthur Ripley as the Attorney General.

Questions sent to current A.G, Talauega Eleasalo Ale, were not responded to at press time.

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