PLEA DEAL OFFERED FOR LADY NAOMI CREW MEMBER
Lady Naomi crew member, Liki Kerisimasi, who was charged along with Fatu Vagana with smuggling of marijuana into the territory last year, has been offered a plea agreement with the government. Kerisimasi and his codefendant were each charged with unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Defendants are being held on bail of $50,000 each. During his pre-trial conference last week, Kerisimasi’s attorney Assistant PD Joel Shiver, said that a plea agreement had been offered however they had yet to finalize the details of the plea and asked for additional time.
According to the government’s case, Vice and Narcotics were informed of alleged illegal activities going on at Vagana’s residence in Aoloau. The informant said Vagana would come to work with loose marijuana and hand rolled marijuana joints and during breaks Vagana allegedly sold marijuana to people at the work place.
A search warrant was executed on Vagana and police began surveillance on him when the Lady Naomi arrived in Port. It’s alleged Vagana drove around the town area while police followed him. Court filings say that he picked up Kerisimasi at the wharf when all passengers were through with clearance from Immigration and Customs. Police found in the vehicle three bundles, which tested positive for marijuana. According to the government’s case, when police questioned Kerisimasi he said he came from Apia with the package to be delivered to “someone in American Samoa who would be calling him.”
ASENATI MALAE ASKS FOR JURY TRIAL
Asenati Malae who was charged together with her husband Hanipale Malae in a high profile sex case last May will fight her case before a Jury Trial, next year.
Asenati Malae is facing charges of tampering with a witness and concealing an offense while her husband is charged with 12 criminal charges, which include two counts of rape, two counts of sodomy, two counts of deviate sexual assault, two counts of sexual abuse first degree, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, third degree assault and furnishing pornographic material to minors.
According to court documents, three girls from Savai’i all lived with Hanipale and his wife in Manu’a and the alleged incidents came to light when one of the girls ran away from the defendant’s residence after she was allegedly assaulted.
Witnesses and victims were subsequently taken into the government shelter where alleged improprieties regarding witness tampering by Mrs. Malae came to light.
The alleged witness tampering involves money and food giving to one of the witnesses-victim’s mother by Mrs. Malae, who allegedly also paid for the mother to come to American Samoa.
Asenati, according to court filings, has admitted she “prepared a box of food items” for Sosaiete’s mother “for her return trip to Savai’i as well as a gift in the amount of $500.”
As for the charge of concealing an offense, the government claims Asenati admitted verbally and in a statement that she “smuggled” a cell phone into the TCF for her husband.