6 Mar 2007

Samoa court hears evidence in baby adoption case

10:08 am on 6 March 2007

A Samoan lawyer acting for a Utah adoption agency has dismissed claims in the media by a U.S.Attorney, Brett Tolman, over the adoption of local babies to American couples.

Patrick Fepulea'i, says the children were not smuggled from Samoa to the United States.

Fepulea'i' s comments come after Mr Tolman was reported as saying that warrants of arrest had been issued in the United States against two Samoans and an American man living on the island.

The three, Dan Wakefield, Julie Tuiletufuga, and Tagaloa Eti, are all accused of smuggling aliens, money laundering, conspiracy, fraud and other crimes.

Fepulea'i' says that Samoa and the U.S do not have an extradition treaty and therefore Samoan citizens wanted by law there cannot be forced to leave.

Fepulea'i told reporters that all the legal documents for adoption had been made through the courts before the children were issued with US visas.