3 Nov 2008

Two senior American Samoa leaders to give evidence in federal fraud case

11:42 am on 3 November 2008

Former Manu'a District Governor and Paramount Chief Galeai Moaaliitele and former American Samoa House Representative Muavaefaatasi Ae Ae Jr. have been subpoenaed to testify in the federal trial of Lieutenant Governor Faoa Ipulasi Sunia and Senator Tulifua Lam Yuen early next year.

The two leaders are accused of enriching themselves by using their positions to influence cabinet members to award thousands of dollars worth of contracts to supply furniture to schools.

The contracts were awarded without any competitive bidding.

Lt. Governor Faoa was the Treasurer at the time.

Tulifua was then an American Samoa senator as he is now.

The two were among 11 residents who were served subpoenas hand carried to Pago Pago by US attorneys and Federal Bureau of Investigations agents who were in the territory two weeks ago.

Muavaefaatasi said that he received his subpoena last week while Galeai got his a few days ago.

The US government is supporting a motion by the defence to postpone the trial , set for January 12 because the inauguration of the US president will present a problem with flights and hotel

accommodation for witnesses from American Samoa.