10 Jul 2004

Mistake on subpoena wrecks American Samoa Senate hearing

9:18 am on 10 July 2004

A typographical error prevented American Samoa's Senate Select Investigative Committee from questioning Director of Marine and Wildlife Reosurces Ufagafa Ray Tulafono and deputy Directro Alofa Tuaumu yesterday.

The subpoenas issued to the witnesses listed the time of the hearing at 9pm instead of 9am July 8.

Assistant Legislative Counsel Robert Maez who is seeking payment for invoices totalling US$174,000 for his legal services to the Fono, took responsibility for the error.

The committee is issuing new supboenes to the DMWR officials to appear at a later date.

The hearing was to question the two about substantial checks made payable to the Director, which are believed to be for cultural presentations to villages involved in the marine protection programme.

Also of interest to the committee were payments made by the department to a new car wash in Pago Pago.