The Samoa News article on Wednesday 12/22/21 incorrectly states that a bench warrant was issued against me on 12/21/22 on two cases for criminal defendants awaiting sentencing because of immigration issues. The truth is subpoenas, not bench warrants, were issued to me and the Public Defender. A bench warrant is issued against a person violating court rules but I was never issued a bench warrant as falsely reported by your newspaper. Samoa News should publicly retract its libelous statement.
The Court’s concerns are well taken. The Department of Legal Affairs will continue to work with the Samoa Government to return to Samoa any Samoa citizen TCF inmate that is sentenced by the Court to depart AS, as we have done to at least 26 other Samoa citizen TCF inmates and immigration law violators in 2021 despite the covid 19 travel restrictions.
Editor’s Note: Samoa News offers its sincere apologies to Attorney General Fainu’ulelei Ala’ilima-Utu and our readers for our inadvertent error. Ra