24 Feb 2010

Mistrial in American Samoa top officials' case

10:30 am on 24 February 2010

A US Federal District court has declared a mistrial in the case of American Samoa's Lt. Governor Faoa Aitofele Sunia and Senator Tulifua Tini Lam Yuen.

This comes after the jurors sent a note saying they were unable to reach unanimous verdicts on both defendants.

The split was 11 for not guilty on all counts for each defendant and one for guilty on all counts for each defendant.

The two American Samoa Government officials were charged with fraud, conspiracy, bribery and obstruction.

The federal government alleged that they used their official positions to obtain no bid contracts paid with federal funds to supply furniture for government schools.

The Department of Justice has yet to decide whether it will retry the case.