11 Nov 2009

Samoan MP still suffers from 2008 US ordeal

1:26 pm on 11 November 2009

Samoa's Associate Minister of Tourism and Trade Hans Joachim Keil says he is still psychologically scarred from his 2008 ordeal when U.S. authorities wrongfully arrested and detained him for two months.

Mr Keil had been charged with one count of falsely and willfully representing himself to be a U.S. citizen and one count of wilfully and knowingly using and attempting to use a U.S. passport.

A year ago, he was released and is now awaiting an explanation and an apology.

He has filed a 10 million US dollar lawsuit against the U.S. authorities.

"I was shocked that they would do something like this. Because if it was an administration problem then that can be sorted out, to say well look we got an issue in your passport can you come in and give us an explanation, which they didn't. They made it so dramatic and calling me a lot of names which I wasn't. Locked me up and then they were hiding me. My family couldn't get a hold of me until then we got a hold of a lawyer and they immediately got to work and located where I was. They told me I had no rights, I wasn't an American and that they were going to do away with me."

Hans Joachim Keil, Samoa's Associate Minister of Tourism and Trade