11 Sep 2007

American Samoan Lt Governor and senator back in court next month

6:10 pm on 11 September 2007

The American Samoan Lt. Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia and Senator Tulifua Tini Lam Yuen have made initial court appearances in connection with fraud charges.

Ipulasi appeared in the Honolulu federal district court and Tulifua in the Los Angeles Federal District Court.

The two are charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of fraud, one count of bribery concerning programmes receiving federal funds and one count each of obstruction of an agency proceeding.

Tulifua Lam Yuen is charged with one additional count of bribery concerning programmes receiving federal funds.

Both were released after posting 50,000 US dollars in unsecured bonds.

They have been ordered to appear in the federal district court of the District of Columbia on October the 22nd.

Both are allowed to travel to American Samoa but must release their travel documents to the Federal Bureau of Investigations or the Attorney General upon arrival.

The Lt. Governor spent two nights at the Honolulu federal detention center.

Tulifua turned himself in to federal authorities in Los Angeles.