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Court Report


The High Court will start today the jury trial in the government’s case against a man accused of raping his wife and holding her against her will.

The defendant whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim is charged with rape, first-degree sexual abuse, attempted kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Jury selection will take place this morning before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

The defendant’s case was called in court on several occasions for plea agreements between the defendant and the government. However the defendant vehemently denied the charges and the plea offers, telling the court that he was trying to correct his wife’s adulterous behavior (Sotoma ma Komoro) and yet he’s in jail for it.

The defendant added that the laws need to be changed in the territory because it was his wife's actions that should be questioned, not his.

According to the government’s case, the charges stems from a domestic dispute that occurred in February 2012 where the defendant accused his wife of having an affair.

The High Court appointed Asaua Fuimaono to take over this case, however during the last hearing Fuimaono informed the court the defendant did not wish to speak to him when he visited him in jail. Fuimaono then requested that the court withdraw him as counsel for the defendant.

The defendant, who’s held on bail of $30,000 is standing pro se, meaning he is representing himself in court, while prosecuting for the government is Assistant Attorney General Cecilia Reyna. The government expects to call several witnesses in this case.


Emanuel Ulberg accused of bribing a police officer with $100 while he was pulled over for a suspected DUI, received a plea offer from the government. Ulberg is charged with bribery of a public servant, driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), prohibited place of consumption and careless driving.

Presiding over the matter was Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond who was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

Assistant Public Defender Mike White asked the court to reset another pre-trial conference for this matter noting that this case is very close to being resolved through a plea.

Richmond scheduled the matter for October 11, 2012.

According to the government’s case, on April 15, 2012 police officers were patrolling near the stadium, and came across the defendant who was allegedly swerving near the stadium. According to the government’s case, the defendant failed the Standard Field Sobriety Test, however when the officer attempted to start on the breathalyzer test the defendant handed the officer $100.

It's alleged Ulberg told the cop to give him a chance and take him home, however the officer gave the defendant back his money and placed him under arrest.


Police arrested Laau Fanene over the weekend charging him with public peace disturbance and third degree assault. Fanene is accused of punching another man over a land dispute issue in Malaeimi over the weekend. The defendant made his initial appearance in the District Court this morning.

According to the government’s case, the defendant, who was intoxicated, walked over to where the complaining witnesses were working clearing the land in question.

It's alleged the defendant asked the family members why are they working on the land and yet the case for this specific land is pending in court.

The government further claims the defendant then punched one of the men; however bystanders stopped the fight and police were called. Fanene is represented by the public defender’s office while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.