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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 8:12 p.m., Saturday, March 10, 2007

American Samoa attorney general dies

Associated Press

American Samoa Attorney General Sialega Togafau, who had been receiving cancer treatments in Honolulu, died Friday, Gov. Togiola T.A. Tulafono said. Togafau was in his early 60s.

Togafau was diagnosed with colon cancer last year and underwent brain surgery in November as it spread.

Togafau served as district court judge and the first administrative law judge from 2000-2005. He also was member of the territorial House of Representatives from 1983 to 1986 and from 1997 to 2000.

He served as attorney general from 1983 to1986 and then again starting in 2005.

"The attorney general was a true servant of American Samoa," Tulafono said. "He was a man who took his post seriously and truly believed things could be better for this territory."

Acting Attorney General Frederick O'Brien said he was stunned by the news despite knowing of Togafau's failing health.

"My mind told me he didn't have long to live, but my heart denied it," O'Brien said. "Just recently, when we talked on the phone he ended the conversation with, 'I love you.' "

Territorial Sen. Alo Dr. Paul Stevenson said Togafau dedicated much of his life to "serving all branches of our government."

Togafau is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren. Funeral services are pending.