23 Apr 2005

American Samoa complaint of police brutality referred to attorney-general

7:21 am on 23 April 2005

The police commissioner in American Samoa has referred a case to the attorney general's office against three police officers for alleged brutality while processing arrests.

The Deputy Commissioner Michael Fuiava is quoted by the Samoa News as saying that the criminal investigation by police has been completed.

Mr Fuiava says the case has been referred to the attorney general's office for their review and possible prosecution.

The newspaper quotes sources as saying that one of the officers is accused of beating a suspect from Fagatogo village earlier this year, where the victim ended up being treated in hospital for multiple wounds and had to have his jaw wired.

A family member claimed that the accused police officer beat the victim with punches and used his boots to kick the victim's face whilst the injured lay hand-cuffed and helpless.

In another incident, two other officers are accused of beating another victim after his arrest.

He reportedly was also hand-cuffed, kicked in the face and thrown up against a vehicle.

No details have been made public yet by the attorney general's office.