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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 27, 2010

American Samoa’s independent prosecutor's office shut down

Associated Press

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa — Gov. Togiola Tulafono has closed down American Samoa's Office of Independent Prosecutor.

The order came in a letter from Tulafono to Independent Prosecutor Faamomoi Masaniai. The letter ordered Masaniai to cease operations and turn his records and files over to the Department of Public Safety.

Masaniai said he received the letter Wednesday, 90 minutes after filing an appeal in a case involving Marie Ripley, the wife of Attorney General Fepuleai A. Ripley Jr.

The High Court of American Samoa on May 18 dismissed criminal charges against her and a co-defendant, saying the law establishing Masaniai's office was unconstitutional.

Ripley is the manager of the U.S. territory's Office of Motor Vehicles.