2 Dec 2015

American Samoa alleged cop killer trial postponed

9:10 am on 2 December 2015

In American Samoa the jury trial of Siaumau Siaumau Jr., who is accused of the shooting death of a police detective Liusila Brown has been postponed until early next year.

The trial was set for jury selection today but it has been pushed out to next March.

This follows a second request for a continuance by Siaumau's defence team, which was heard and granted by the trial court on Monday afternoon.

Public Defender Douglas Fiaui said because of the amount of evidence the government has just disclosed, which he described as an "ambush," he felt his client would not have a fair trial.

He was referring to a 250 page report the defence received last week as well as CDs of photographs of the shooting taken by Samoa News and a CD of the audio of the shooting recorded by KHJ News.

Fiaui said they were not aware of the availability of the evidence until last week.

He added they need time to review all the evidence and with the trial this week they would not get the time they need.

But Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Taase asked the court to deny the motion saying the defence had had access to the same evidence since 2010 and they should have done their own homework.

The prosecution also has a long list of witnesses it plans to call to the stand but Taase said the government is not going to call all of them to testify.

Associate Justice Lyle Richmond reluctantly granted the motion, a few days after he had denied an earlier motion from the defence for a continuance.

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