17 Mar 2011

Honolulu jury finds American Samoa chief guilty of violent assault

7:32 pm on 17 March 2011

A jury in the Honolulu federal district court has found an American Samoa chief, Lualemaga Simeti, guilty of forcible assault with a dangerous weapon and causing serious bodily injury.

In March last year Simeti attacked the then station chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in American Samoa, Mark Cunningham.

Mr Cunningham had been taking photos of a shack that Simeti was building near the observatory on land at Tula that the NOAA was leasing.

Simeti claimed he was acting in self defence but after a four-day trial a 12-member jury found him guilty.