7 Nov 2016

US mum on Tongan extradition request

7:04 pm on 7 November 2016
High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa. Photo: noaa

The U.S Justice Department has declined to comment on whether an extradition request has been received for the return to Tonga of an American man wanted for murder.

53-year-old Dean Jay Fletcher is charged in American Samoa with a misdemeanour count of illegally entering Pago Pago on October 3 without proper customs clearance and permission.

As he tried to leave the next day he was arrested and remains jailed without bail, with a pre-trial hearing is set for November 22.

Media reports from Nuku'alofa last month said that extradition proceedings have begun by the Tongan government with the U.S Justice Department.

However Justice Department spokesperson Peter Carr says that as a matter of policy, the department generally does not comment on extradition-related matters.

Mr Carr also provided an online link providing an overview of the process, which says foreign requests for extradition are usually submitted by embassies.

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