US murder suspect allegedly calls Tonga from American Samoa prison

An American Samoa judge wanted to know how the US murder suspect who was detained in Samoa after fleeing Tonga might have communicated regularly from inside his prison to an associate in Tonga.

US citizen Dean Jay Fletcher, 54, was being imprisoned in Pago Pago for illegally entering and leaving the country without permits.

He escaped a prison cell in Tonga while facing a murder charge in connection to the death of his Canadian wife Patricia Linne Kearney on July 6 in Neiafu, Vava’u.

The body of the 56-year-old was found dead in the yacht she and Fletcher owned before she was buried at ‘Ahomatafolau Cemetery in Neiafu on July 29.

It has been alleged Fletcher regularly called someone in Tonga from Samoa using a guard’s cell phone.

Radio New Zealand report said District Court Judge Fiti Sunia wanted to know how Fletcher had been able to make the communications.

Tonga’s Acting Attorney General has applied to US authorities for a provisional extradition of Fletcher but said it could not be an easy process.

He said American Samoa is controlled by the United States.

Tonga and US can apply for extradition of criminals under Tonga International Extradition Treaty with the United States which was originally signed with the United Kingdom in December 22, 1931.

The two countries can apply to extradite criminals that had committed murder, manslaughter and assaults on board a ship on the high seas, with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

However according to HG .org  “Extradition law as it relates to the United States is particularly complex, since the United States does not fall under a simplifying bilateral regional treaty like many nations in Europe, nor has it ratified the treaty creating the International Criminal Court (ICC)”.

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