28 Aug 2008

Federal court to hear motion to dismiss indictments against two American Samoa officials ;

9:49 am on 28 August 2008

The federal court in Washington D.C. has set a hearing next month to hear oral arguments on a joint motion by American Samoa's Lieutenant Governor Faoa Ipulasi Suniaand Senator Tulifua Tini Lam Yuen, seeking to dismiss in part or in whole the federal indictment handed down against them last year.

Both Faoa and Tulifua face several counts including conspiracy, fraud and bribery in connection with the awarding of local Department of Education contracts.

Attorneys for the two argued that the basis for the dismissal comes about because charges against the defendants stem from allegations where the statute of limitation has expired, or when the defendants were not agents of the government, or that the allegations failed to meet essential elements of the charges.

Federal prosecutors have challenged the claims, saying the charges were proper because the alleged crimes committed by the defendants were a continuing offense.