11 Nov 2008

1,000 march in Samoa in support of minister held in US

11:33 am on 11 November 2008

An estimated 1,000 people have turned up to a march in Samoa in support of a high profile politician whose facing immigration charges in the United States.

Hans Joachim Keil, who is currently out on bail in the US state of Missouri, could face up to 15 years jail if convicted.

He faces two charges, one count of falsely and wilfully representing himself to be a US citizen and one count of attempting to use a US passport.

Our correspondent Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia is at the march.

"There's a general feeling among people who are already here to take part, who feel sorry of what's already happened to Hans Joachim Keil or Mr Joe Keil as the protest march is aiming at freeing the MP from the U.S. And we've been told by the President of the Samoa Veterans that by the 15th of this month if the US government hasn't done anything to Joe Keil's charges then the Hans Joachim and his lawyers will file a legal action against the US government. And this is Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia for RNZI."

Meanwhile, security around the US embassy was tight.