11 May 2016

Senior American Samoan official jailed for contempt

2:33 pm on 11 May 2016
High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa. Photo: noaa

A senior immigration official in American Samoa has been jailed and fined for contempt of court.

The territory's Chief Immigration Officer, Peseta Dennis Fuimaono Lutu, has been sentenced to 14 days imprisonment and $US 1,000 after the count found he had not testified truthfully over his no show in court.

Peseta was attending a family reunion off-island.

But he told the court he had not been given a date to appear after an initial hearing was postponed.

The 59 year old apologised to the Chief Justice for his failure to be a leader of integrity as reflected in several testimonies on his behalf.

He had been due at a July 2015 High Court hearing to explain how a convict was able to enter American Samoa even though the man was on a list of people prohibited from entering the territory because of a criminal conviction.