12 Nov 2005

US urged to establish federal magistrate's office in American Samoa

8:13 am on 12 November 2005

Common Cause American Samoa has called on the US government to established a federal magistrate's office in Pago Pago.

The Common Cause president Taimane Johnson says the US department of the interior needs to take an active role in overseeing territorial affairs because of what she calls a "long history of abuse" that she says continues today.

Mrs Johnson says it is Common Cause's belief that the Department of Justice "needs to have a Federal Magistrate on Island so that when corruption is discovered indictments can be issued and those who abuse the law are punished."

She says the group believes that when corruption is left unchallenged those who benefit begin to believe that the law doesn't apply to them.

Mrs Johnson says the US government should conduct a thorough audit of all federal money pouring into American Samoa.