17 Sep 2010

American Samoa official charged with witness tampering

3:16 pm on 17 September 2010

An American Samoa official, Paul Solofa, has been charged with one count of witness tampering and one count of obstruction of justice.

Mr Solofa has been the manager of the school lunch programme of the department of education.

The charge relates to an investigation into allegations of bribes and kickbacks paid by vendors to officials of the American Samoa Government in

connection with the government's purchase of school bus parts and services.

Mr Solofa is expected to be taken to Honolulu tonight to appear tomorrow morning in the federal court.

If found guilty, he could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to 250,000 US dollars on the witness tampering charge and 10 years in prison and a 250,000 dollar fine on the obstruction of justice charge.