AMERICA SAMOA URGED TO ENACT SLAVERY LAW

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AMERICAN SAMOA FACTORY OWNER TO REMAIN IN CUSTODY

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (July 29, 2001 – Radio Australia)---A plea by former American Samoa factory owner Kil Soo Lee to move to a halfway house in Honolulu to await trial on charges of worker abuse has been rejected.

The U.S. District Court in Hawai‘i court ruled that Lee is a "flight risk."

The South Korean national is accused of forcing his workers into involuntary servitude and subjecting some to beatings and starving at the now-closed Daewoosa Samoa garment factory.

Most of the factory's 250 workers were women from Vietnam.

Lee has been held without bail in Honolulu since he was arrested in March in American Samoa. He has pleaded innocent and is scheduled for trial on September 25.

Unlike some other U.S. territories, American Samoa does not have its own U.S. District Court.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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