15 Aug 2012

Closing arguments today in US case against NZ fishing company

8:29 am on 15 August 2012

Attorneys for the U.S. Justice Department and the New Zealand based Sanford Limited are scheduled to deliver their closing arguments today at the Federal court in Washington D.C.

Sanford's fishing vessel San Nikunau is alleged to have been non-compliant with the federal Act of Pollution from Ships while fishing in the waters of American Samoa.

Sanford and a former chief engineer, James Pogue, are also charged with obstruction of justice.

The court yesterday heard final witnesses in the Federal government's case against Sanford, who again moved to dismiss all charges but was again denied by presiding U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell.

Mr Pogue didn't take the witness stand and Sanford provided video taped testimonies from three crew members, who declined to travel to the U.S. to testify in person.

Closing arguments are scheduled for today before the jury goes into deliberation.