My Civil Beat column this week tackled another bizarre case created by David Keanu Sai, the political scientist who has been promoting his theory that the annexation of Hawaii by the U.S. never happened, and spinning out fictional accounts of what he claims are the results of that failed annexation.
Here’s the column lead:
It’s quite a story.
A Swiss citizen living with his family in a rural part of a peaceful, far-away island becomes a victim of war crimes perpetrated by an occupying power, his property pillaged and plundered, and his family home lost to a criminal fraud involving a cabal of government and corporate officials, while he lives in fear of retaliation for filing a war crimes complaint with his government.
It sounds like the product of an overly imaginative novelist.
But those alleged war crimes supposedly took place in Kilauea on the north shore of Kauai over the past five years, according to a criminal complaint filed with the Federal Attorney General in Berne, Switzerland, in January 2015.
The complaint was filed on behalf of a Swiss citizen living on Kauai who is, according to Sai, a the victim of war crimes.
Based on Sai’s theory that modern land titles in Hawaii are defective and essentially worthless because they were not done under the law of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the complaint argues that the Kauai man and his family have lost all the equity in their home and are left holding worthless property.
But I was able to identify the man, Yoshiko l’Hote, who is president of the Kilauea Neighborhood Association. State business registration records show he is also the agent for a new nonprofit organization, `Aina Ho`okupu o Kilauea, formed to manage the Kilauea Community Agricultural Center, a 75-acre agricultural park complex.
State real estate records show l’Hote and his wife own the home in Kilauea identified in the complaint. Far from being worthless, real estate records show it has almost doubled in value in the five years since they bought it.
Other evidence of war crimes? Well, l’Hote paid taxes to the state and federal governments, and Sai pointed to the taxes as evidence of “the war crime of pillaging under the guise of taxation.”
I reached l’Hote by phone and asked him about these rather ludicrous but serious allegations. He declined to comment, and referred these questions to Keanu Sai, who I was unable to reach. But he certainly didn’t sound like a man who had suffered a series of war crimes, that’s for sure.
Even though the complaint was dismissed in short order by Swiss authorities, Sai–who also claims the titles of Acting Minister of the Interior and chairman of the Council of Regency of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government–and his Hawaiian Kingdom Government were quick to claim a victory, claiming that the court recognized that an 1864 treaty between Switzerland and the Hawaiian Kingdom is still in force.
There’s nothing in the court decision to support this false conclusion, but that didn’t stop the Hawaiian Kingdom website from loudly proclaiming Swiss recognition of the long ago treaty. In fact, the whole Swiss complaint would have been unknown except that it was widely promoted by Sai’s Hawaiian Kingdom website and through press releases.
Some of the comments on the Civil Beat column are worth noting.
One reader wrote:
This is the man who convinced my friends and neighbors that they shouldn’t be paying their mortgage and because of that they were kicked out of their home. They made their own choices of course but you can’t trust anything he says.
He was likely referring to Sai’s role in the Perfect Title mess back in the 1990s, when Sai was convicted of attempted theft for his role in the Perfect Title scandal.
Another reader, Z Aki, wrote:
I know international law and I have been saying pretty much the same thing that Mr. Lind is now saying. In fact, I did multiple write-ups that have – in great detail – analyzed Sai’s misrepresentation of a number of events. I have provided this information to Sai – both to his face and in the comments of his blog.
Sai’s response, as you well know, was in the form of TWO attempts to have me expelled from William S. Richardson School of Law. Instead of engaging in scholarly discourse, Sai threatens other Kanaka Maoli with actions that would ruin lives.
That got my attention, so I dug around a bit. Apparently Aki had disputed an earlier claim by Sai about a different court case. Aki argued that either Sai was ill informed about the law, or was lying when he said that a state court had ruled that the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists.Rather than tackle the argument, Sai threatened.
Here’s what Sai wrote:
“In response to Zuri Aki’s inflammatory and malicious postings on this blog accusing me of lying is not only untrue, but is clear evidence of criminal acts of libel. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, libel is defined as “A method of defamation expressed by print, writing, pictures or signs. A false and unprivileged publication,” which attempts “to blacken a person’s reputation.” Under Hawaiian Kingdom law, libel is a crime, but under U.S. law it’s civil tort.
Mr. Aki is a naïve student whose irresponsible diatribe has just implicated three or more professors at the law school in this criminal act. These three professors are David Cohen, Diane Desierto, and Carole J. Peterson. This is not only a criminal matter, but also a university matter because I am also a faculty member of the University of Hawai‘i Windward Community College.
On January 30, 2015, I wrote a formal complaint to the Dean of the Law School, but he chose not to hold these three professors and Mr. Aki accountable. This failure to do so is what led to the ultimate commission of the crime of libel. I will be initiating proceedings in a timely fashion and before the proper authorities.”
It’s funny that Sai raises the issue of libel.
In the complaint filed with the Swiss government, Sai alleged that several current or former state officials, cited by name, are guilty of war crimes, and in another section accused the person who notarized the deed to Mr. l’Hote’s Kilauea property of criminal fraud.
Those are far closer to libelous accusations than disputing Sai’s historical arguments.