24 Mar 2010

Bid to throw out American Samoa politicians' Washington case

12:16 pm on 24 March 2010

The U.S. Justice Department has asked the federal court in Washington D.C. to dismiss without prejudice the original charges filed against two top American Samoan politicians.

The Lieutenant Governor, Faoa Sunia, and Senator, Tulifua Tini Lam Yuen, were charged with several federal crimes over the awarding of contracts for the local department of education.

However, a jury was unable to reach a verdict last month resulting in U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton declaring a mistrial, while federal prosecutors review available options.

Today, the government filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the charges without prejudice.

Reports says prosecutors did not provide an explanation in their motion for their latest action.

If the court grants the motion, that means the charges are dismissed and the prosecutors can file the same charges at a later time.