16 Mar 2004

American Samoan investigating agency to have independence restored

4:30 pm on 16 March 2004

One of American Samoa's investigating agencies is expected to have its independent status restored, two years after it was stripped of many of its powers.

The Office of Territorial and International Criminal Intelligence and Drug Enforcement, or OTICIDE, lost some of its functions after a dispute over its investigation into alleged misuse of fono funds by the speaker.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Fili Sagapolutele, says OTICIDE is expected to again take part in wide ranging investigations.

"Without actually seeing the new executive order that places them as an independent agency once again, I'm guessing that they'll still once again be independent, doing a lot of their own investigations and working closely with other law enforcement agencies here in the territory."

OTICIDE's independent status is expected to be brought into effect by the end of this week.