9 Dec 2008

Samoa's PM assures US State Department that Hans Joachim Keil will return to U.S

11:20 am on 9 December 2008

Samoa's Prime Minister has assured the U.S. State Department that Samoa MP Hans Joachim Keil will return to the U.S. to face federal charges if he is released to reside in Samoa while awaiting his case.

Last week the federal court in Springfield, Missouri granted the defense motion for Mr Keil to leave the U.S. as long as he meets certain bond conditions.

Mr Keil is out on bond after posting 10,000 US dollars of a $100,000 bond and travel is restricted within the Western Missouri jurisdiction.

Last month Keil's defense attorney John Kizer, requested his client's bond be modified to reside in Samoa while his case was pending.

But U.S. Justice Department said the U.S. has no extradition agreement with Samoa and suggested a one million US dollar bond secured by a 10 percent cash deposit if the request was to be granted.

Last Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge James England issued an order saying that Me Keil must execute a $250,000 bond secured by a 10 percent deposit.

He further ordered that upon completion of this requirement, the conditions will be modified to allow the defendant to travel to and reside in Samoa and American Samoa.

In October, Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, wrote to the U.S. Secretary of State, requesting Mr Keil be allowed to return to Samoa while his case is pending.