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Bench warrant issued for Fa’aili Mata’u

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Chief Justice Michael Kruse has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Fa’aili Mata’u, who failed to appear in court for a hearing last Friday.

Mata’u, who was convicted of unlawful possession of crystal methamphetamine was ordered to appear in court last Friday for a Probation Revocation hearing. However, when his case was called, his attorney, Acting Public Defender Kate Hannaher told the court she had no idea where her client was.

“Why is his name on the calendar?” Kruse asked. Government attorney, Robert Morris said Mata’u was supposed to appear for a probation revocation hearing.

Kruse wanted to know whether Mata’u was served, and the Chief Probation Officer who was present in court, said yes.

Kruse shook his head and said someone has to look for Mata’u. He then continued the hearing until police or the court marshal locates the defendant.

As a condition of his 5-year probation, Mata’u was ordered to remain alcohol and drug free. He was also subject to random testing.

Mata’u tested positive for meth in March after he was released from jail.