27 Jun 2012

Former Tongan inmates stuck in American Samoa

2:18 pm on 27 June 2012

Two Tongan nationals, whom the American Samoa High Court deported after serving jail terms, remain at the Territorial Correctional Facility, unable to return to Tonga because they do not have passports.

A prison warden says Tautai Samasoni and Latu Noa ended their jail terms a long time ago but they cannot be deported because they don't have passports.

Noa was convicted of a sexual offence while Samasoni was convicted of marijuana possession.

The warden says he called the men's families in Tonga asking them to assist in obtaining their passports but has not had any success.

He has asked the Public Defender's Office for help, but it says only the Attorney General's office can contact foreign consulates.

Our correspondent in American Samoa says there has been no action taken by the AG's Office to date.