Warrant against Minister still valid

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia 17 April 2016, 12:00AM

A warrant of arrest against the Minister of Justice and Courts Administration, Fa’aolesa Ainu’u Katopau, in American Samoa is still valid. 

This was confirmed by American Samoa’s Attorney General, Talauega Eleasalo Ale.

Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, Talauega said his office had checked with the Court and confirmed the warrant is valid. 

“It’s still valid and apparently it’s still in the books (of the Court) and still outstanding,” said Talauega. “We don’t have any action on this. It’s a matter up to the law enforcement, the Police to enforce it if the person is in our jurisdiction.

“The background and reasons for the warrant, those facts are still out there. I don’t know what happened, I don’t know whatever the situation is if it’s been resolved without our knowledge.”

The outstanding warrant of arrest for Fa’aolesa was issued in 2008 containing a number of allegations. According to Talauega since the warrant was issued, it was never acted upon. The reason for that he said is that it was “probably because the person wasn’t here.

“The warrant is valid if he is in American Samoa jurisdiction and he can be arrested by Police in pursuant to the Court’s warrant.”

The Attorney General in the territory emphasised the warrant is not from his office. 

“The Court’s in American Samoa issued an order to arrest him unless he pays $10,000 and the only way to resolve this is for Mr. Ainu’u to contact the Court and resolve it because it’s not a warrant that we issued. The warrant itself is outside the control of this office.”

 Asked if the Police in the territory are taking any actions, Talauega said he did not know.  

In response to Samoa News questions, Talauega said: “The Office of the Attorney General has no role in the execution of the warrant.  

“Further, because the warrant is a Court order, only the Court has the authority to resolve or extinguish it, not the Attorney General.  

“That said, I note that the warrant is almost eight years old, and although we have not received confirmation, it appears that Mr. Ainu’u may have resolved the underlying issues, which resulted in the filing of the criminal complaint.  

“To the extent that he has done this and provides proof of same, we would not object to a motion by Mr. Ainu’u to quash or resolve the warrant.” 

Contacted for a comment last week, the Minister of Justice said he was waiting on the investigation by the American Samoa Office of Attorney General.

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia 17 April 2016, 12:00AM

Trending Stories

Samoa Observer

Upgrade to Premium

Subscribe to
Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device.

Ready to signup?