10 Mar 2004

American Samoan Senate to be asked to find Attorney General in contempt

4:30 pm on 10 March 2004

Senators in American Samoa are to be asked tomorrow to support a motion finding the country's Attorney-General guilty of contempt against the Senate.

Our correspondent in American Samoa says a Senate committee wants the Attorney-General, Fiti Sunia, found in contempt for his actions regarding a high-profile probe into Government corruption.

The committee says Mr Sunia advised two government officials subpoenaed by the Senate Select Investigative Committee not to attend a hearing in Pago Pago today.

The chairman of the investigative committee, Lualemagna Faoa, told senators he had received a letter from Mr Sunia saying the two would not appear to testify.

Many senators are reported to be angry about this, with some saying that Mr Sunia should never have been approved for his job.

The matter is to go to the full Senate tomorrow.

The issue follows a dispute, still unresolved, between the Senate and the House of Representatives about ongoing funding for the investigative committee's work.