7 Dec 2007

American Samoa judge wants answers on injuries sustained by prisoners in custody

6:38 pm on 7 December 2007


An American Samoa district court judge, Elvis Patea, has given the government three weeks to find out how a man arrested last weekend received a broken jaw while in custody.

Poe Gasologa was arrested for disturbing the peace but later admitted to hospital with injuries he did not have when he was taken to the Tafuna Correctional Facility.

Mr Gasologa, whose jaw is wired stopping him from speaking, has given the Public Defender's Office the name of a prison guard who he claims beat him up.

Judge Patea ordered the government to provide him with the results of their investigation into what happened and any criminal complaint in this matter.

The judge has ordered that Mr Gasologa be released from custody.

This is the third alleged beating of a defendant in police custody in the last two weeks.