16 Oct 2009

Prosecution in American Samoa asks for some charges to be dismissed in police case

2:41 pm on 16 October 2009

The Attorney General's Office in American Samoa has asked the High Court to grant its motion to dismiss charges against one of the defendants in the police 'missing evidence' case.

Police Lieutenant, Lealofi Salatielu, one of the five officers charged in the case, was originally charged with one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and one count of embezzlement.

However, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Johns says the two counts were based on a written statement made by Jerry Sauni, a co-defendant in the case, in which he implicated Mr Salatielu.

Jerry Sauni now says the items, allegedly removed by Mr Salatielu from the evidence room, were part of an already resolved case involving Samoa Packing cannery.

The items, cases of wahoo tuna, were left behind by Samoa Packing staffers as gift to police after the case was resolved in court.