16 Aug 2006

Convict escape persuades American Samoa judge to order handcuffing of defendantsl

10:16 am on 16 August 2006

Beginning today all detainees taken from American Samoa's Tafuna Correctional Facility to the High Court will be handcuffed.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse gave the order today after yet another inmate disappeared from police custody at the High Court.

The man was among 11 defendants brought to the High Court this morning, but was not in the court room when his case was called.

Justice Kruse said this was the second time that a defendant under police custody had disappeared from the court building. .

He issued a bench warrant for the missing man and has directed the Attorney General's Office to make sure that the government follows his order to have all defendants appearing in his court handcuffed.