2 Jul 2008

American Samoan bid to throw out bribery charges

3:04 pm on 2 July 2008

Lawyers for American Samoa's Lieutenant Governor, Ipulasi Sunia, and Senator Tulifua Tini lam Yuen, have filed a joint motion to dismiss a number of the federal indictments against them.

They are set to go on trial early next year on charges of conspiracy, fraud, bribery and obstruction of agency proceedings.

The federal government alleges that the two used their official positions to get furniture supply contracts worth thousands of dollars for companies they owned.

The awarding of the contracts were not put out for public bidding as required by local procurement law.

The two say at the time of the alleged offences they were not agents or employees of the Executive Branch.

They also claim that the time limitation for charges to be filed had expired by the time the federal indictments were brought against them.