11 Jun 2010

American Samoa acquits assault accused

10:06 am on 11 June 2010

An American Samoa jury has acquitted a man accused of assaulting police officers executing a search warrant at the home of his uncle last year.

Smith Siaumau was found not guilty of first degree assault, third degree assault and resisting arrest, but convicted on a misdemeanor count of public peace disturbance.

The government argued that while police officers were executing a search warrant at the home of Siaumau's uncle last year, the defendant 's vehicle ran a police barricade and assaulted two police officers.

However the defense argued it was actually the defendant who was assaulted by the police officers that day.

Smith Siaumau's attorney Marshal Ashley was happy with the jury's decision.

"We really appreciate their efforts on this, I know it wasn't easy, it took them a little while to reach their verdict, but we think they probably reached the correct verdict. I wish we had been not guilty on all counts, but I think we will abide by the result."