28 Aug 2002

Concerns over impartiality of Attorney General's office in FSM

11:01 am on 28 August 2002

Political observers in the Federated States of Micronesia says there are concerns over the level of political interference in the Attorney General's office.

Professor John Hagelegam, who was FSM's Second president, says

currently the Attorney General is appointed by the President raising concerns over it's ability to successfully prosecute public office holders.

Voters will decide whether an independent prosecutor's office be established as part of a national referendum proposing wide-ranging changes to the FSM constitution.

Professor Hagelegam says an independent prosecutor will be constitutionally appointed and will be free from political interference.

"The intention here is to create an office which is not subject to political pressure from the congress or the presidents office...the attorney general he is not effective because he is subject to pressure from politicians."

Professor Hagelegam in FSM