SAMOANS PROBED IN PAGO PAGO PROSTITUTION

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By B. Chen

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa, (Samoa News, Aug. 21) - The High
Court has granted the pretrial motion for funds to investigate witnesses in the
independent state of Samoa in the Fishermen House prostitution case.

The motion was filed by ASG Assistant Public Defender Sharron
Rancourt on behalf of her clients, Wei Ki Fang and Luapene "Pene"
Si'itu Sanerivi of Sataoa, Samoa.

Wei Ki and Luapene are two of the four defendants facing charges
in connection with the alleged prostitution ring in Atu'u.

In addition to the motion for funds to investigate witnesses in
Samoa, other pretrial motions that were filed for Wei Ki and Pene include the
motion to suppress statements, which was essentially withdrawn, and the motion
for a change of venue, which was denied by the court.

Assistant PD Rancourt stated over a telephone interview
yesterday afternoon the investigation of witnesses in Samoa, who are former
waitresses of Fishermen House and direct eyewitnesses to the alleged sex-ring
operation, will likely take place next Tuesday.

Wei Ki is facing one count of the amended charge of promoting
prostitution in the second degree while his co-defendant and sister-in-law
Luapene is being charged with nine counts of promoting prostitution in the first
degree, one count of assault in the second degree, and one count of concealing
an offense.

Wei Ki and Pene are both scheduled for a pretrial conference on
September 22 and are currently incarcerated at the Territorial Correctional
Facility (TCF) in Tafuna with bail set at $10,000 for Wei Ki and $100,000 for
Luapene.

The other two co-defendants being charged in this case are
alleged ring leader Wei Li "Uili" Fang and Tafoi Laumatia who are also
detained at the TCF.

Prosecuting this case for the government is ASG Assistant
Attorney General Marcellus Talaimalo Uiagalelei.

August 27, 2003

Samoa News: www.samoanews.com 

 

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