10 Mar 2008

Call in American Samoa for indicted lieutenant governor to be stood down

7:46 pm on 10 March 2008

A NGO in American Samoa, Common Cause, has asked the US Secretary of the Interior to remove Lieutenant Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia from office.

Lt. Governor Ipulasi has been charged by the federal government with fraud and bribery and his trial is set for next January.

The organisation's President, Ben Te'o, said in a letter to Dirk Kempthorne that the Lt. Governor has been indicted by a US grand jury on several counts.

Te'o says over 100 people have approached Common Cause asking it to write to the Interior Secretary regarding their concerns the Lt. governor continuing to hold public office.

The organisation is also apprehensive that Ipulasi is representing the territory on official trips funded by taxpayer and federal funds.