6 Jul 2002

American Samoa court hears request to use DNA tests to determine chiefly title

9:17 am on 6 July 2002

A motion for DNA testing to prove blood ties to a chiefly title has been filed in American Samoa's High Court .

The motion was filed by lawyers for Akapo Akapo, one of a number of claimants for the matai title "Ava".

Akapo is asking for the tests to prove testimony by some of the claimants that they are descendants or offspring of former holders of the title.

Those parties he wants tested have objected to the proposal.

The court has asked for arguments on the legality of requiring the unwilling parties to be tested and whether the results of such testing could be introduced into the case given that testimony by the various parties has already been presented.

If the court grants the motion it will be the first time DNA testing will have been introduced in a local court case.