27 Jan 2006

American Samoa prison warder replaced

9:12 am on 27 January 2006

The American Samoa Commissioner of Public safety Sotoa Savali has appointed captain Saitia Maui'a as acting Warden of the Tafuna Correctional Facility while warden Amituana'i Kelemete has been assigned as Special Advisor to the commissioner.

The appointments were effective yesterday.

Sotoa acknowledged that an investigation by the Internal affairs division is looking into complaints from inmates about physical abuse and improper conduct of prison guards in their dealings with inmates.

According to Sotoa some of these complaints had been lodged before he became commissioner.

He has ordered the investigation to find out if there is any substance to the complaints.

Sotoa said the inmate's complaints were made in writing however it does not identify any names which the commissioners said makes it difficult to pinpoint who to target in the investigation.

Sotoa made it clear that the reassignment of Warden Amituana'i is not a demotion, rather a reassignment until the investigation is completed.