29 Jan 2020

Former watch commander of American Samoa jail sentenced

3:06 pm on 29 January 2020

The former watch commander of American Samoa's only jail has been sentenced to more than two years at the Territorial Correctional Facility.

American Samoa has opened a new detention facility at the Territorial Correctional Facility.

American Samoa's Territorial Correctional Facility. Photo: RNZI Monica Miller

Late last year, a High Court found Mosese Lomu guilty of criminal fraud, punishable by imprisonment of up to seven years.

Samoa News reports that Lomu has now been sentenced to serve 28 months in jail as part of a seven year probation.

The newspaper reports that Lomu broke down in tears when given the chance to address the court before sentencing was handed down by Chief Justice Michael Kruse.

Lomu told the court he swore to uphold the law and protect the safety of the community but he failed and made a terrible mistake.

He begged for a second chance so he could teach his children and the youth of Fagatogo how to walk justly with God.

Lomu was accused of covering up and altering information when a dangerous inmate who left the facility at night unguarded, allegedly shot someone.