Office of American Samoa Attorney General investigates

The Office of the American Samoa Attorney General has launched an investigation into reports about a warrant of arrest for the Minister of Justice and Courts Administration, Fa'aolesa Katopau Ainu’u.

This was confirmed by the Attorney General for American Samoa, Talauega Eleasalo Ale, during a telephone interview with the Sunday Samoan.

The territory’s top lawyer was responding to questions from the Samoa Observer in relation to a report in American Samoa’s Samoa News about the warrant.

Talauega said he hasn’t seen the warrant. 

“I don’t know if it’s a warrant or whatever the document is,” he said. “(We) will definitely look into it. This is something that happened before I came into office.”

A copy of the warrant obtained by the Sunday Samoan shows that it was issued by the American Samoa Attorney General’s office in 2008, containing a number of allegations. It was signed by Associate Justice John L. Ward, during the time of Fepulea’i Arthur Ripley as the Attorney General.

 “I’m not sure of the details…it’s been looked at and someone is following it up,” Talauega said. He added that an email with questions about the issue from the Samoa Observer has been passed on to “the criminal division to look through it for information.

“I don’t have any information to give to you at this point.”

Asked for a comment on Thursday, 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. 

Emails sent to Fa’aolesa for a comment were not responded to at press time. 

But according to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, the report about the warrant surprised the Minister.

“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.”

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