AMERICAN SAMOA ATTORNEY BOOKED FOR TRESPASSING AT DAEWOOSA COMPOUND

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (January 2, 2001 - PIDP/CPIS)--Christa Lin, one of the two attorneys representing Daewoosa Samoa’s Vietnamese workers was taken into police custody New Year’s Eve for allegedly trespassing at the company’s Tafuna compound.

However, she was not jailed but was released instead "in the spirit of the holiday," according to Lin’s law partner, Virginia Sudbury.

"The police first booked Christa and wanted to incarcerate her without bail," said Sudbury on Monday.

Sudbury said the case, however, will be forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office to be reviewed for possible prosecution.

Daewoosa’s assistant production manager, Nu’uuli Ioane, said "police was called in because Christa was trespassing on company property without authorization from Daewoosa."

Whether or not Lin had made prior arrangements to see those of her clients still living in the Daewoosa compound’s dormitories is not immediately known.

Sudbury was not amused with the news of her colleague being taken into police custody. She said Lin was handled "roughly" by the police as she was taken to the Western Substation in Tafuna, where she was booked and read her Miranda rights.

"This is completely erroneous!" said Sudbury. "Any plaintiff (in this case, any of the Vietnamese workers) is allowed to meet with their attorney in their own home. And the fact that their attorney was arrested, detained and threatened with incarceration with no bail is far beyond travesty of justice. It’s obscene!"

Sudbury said there were two other people with Lin and they weren’t taken into custody.

It is not immediately known if these two had accompanied Lin into the compound or if they waited for her outside the compound.

Sudbury said this latest action is "more of the heinous intimidation tactics employed by Daewoosa" against its Vietnamese workers because of their ongoing class-action suit against the beleaguered company.

"That is not true!" Ioane replied when asked for comments. "Christa trespassed on Daewoosa Samoa property."

The Daewoosa official said all Vietnamese workers know that no one is allowed inside the company compound without clearance from the gatekeeper or prior arrangements with management.

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