10 Nov 2009

American Samoa's official faces charges in court

12:01 pm on 10 November 2009

American Samoa's former Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety, Filifaatali Mike Fuiava, will be arraigned in High Court this morning on charges of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution.

A probable cause hearing held in District Court on Friday found that there was enough evidence to bind the case over to High Court.

The lead investigator on the case, police Lieutenant Pierre Clemens testified that a Tongan woman had provided a fictitious driver's license to the Office of Vital Statistics back in September of last year to obtain a birth certificate for her son.

The Registrar, Tai Solomona, suspected that the license was fake and contacted Filifaatali who was then acting commissioner.

He assigned Captain Tina Simanu head of Internal Affairs to investigate.

However he later ordered that the investigation be put on hold.

He also was not able to provide the fake driver's license which had been given to him.

Filifaatali said that he may have misplaced the license when he was shifting out of the commissioner's office.