Tonga submits extradition request for US murder suspect

Tonga has officially submitted a request to the US to extradite Dean Jay Fletcher, the US citizen wanted for the murder in Tonga.

The Attorney General's Office said it made the submission for his return so that he can be tried for the murder of his wife Patricia Linne Kearney in Vava'u.

Last month, Mr Fletcher was handed over to federal authorities by American Samoan police after he had fled to the territory on his yacht.

Mr Fletcher was determined a flight risk and danger to the community, and was remanded in custody in Honolulu.

Tonga's extradition request is expected to be considered by US Attorneys to the US Federal District Court in Honolulu, on January 10.

According to federal court documents, the United States and Tonga have had an extradition treaty since 1931, which was amended in 1977.

Photo: RNZI/Gareth Thomas (The Central Police Station in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa).