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Bond issues for former cop land him in custody — temporarily

Former police officer Mosese Lomu

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Former police officer Mosese Lomu — facing criminal charges in two separate cases — was remanded to the custody of the court marshal, temporarily, last Friday, as issues with his bond were being ironed out.

Lomu — who is out on bond — appeared in High Court for a pretrial conference.

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill told the court that they have all the discovery, and even an offer from the government, but his client wants to go to trial.

When presiding Chief Justice Michael Kruse was reading through Lomu's file, he noticed that the bail amount set by the court — and the value of the vehicle put up for Lomu to be released — did not add up.

"What's going on?" Kruse asked the attorneys. "Are you up to speed on bond requirements?"

According to Kruse, the court had set bond for Lomu at $10,000 for one case, and $5,000 for the other. But the value of his vehicle that was put up as surety is only $13,000.

"So a $13,000 vehicle covers a $15,000 bond?" Kruse asked.

Assistant Attorney General Laura Garvey explained that District Court Judge Fiti Sunia, on August 29, 2018,  had lowered the bond amount in one of Lomu's cases from $10,000 to $5,000, cash or surety.

"I'm not seeing it," Kruse said while reading through the case file. It is "not to my satisfaction," he added.

Garvey assured the Chief Justice that she would talk to the District Court clerk about Lomu's notice of release. Kruse then ordered the court marshal to take custody of Lomu "until you people review the files." Kruse concluded, "Meet me in chambers when you get an answer."

Lomu was held in a room at the District Court for several minutes but was later released, after his paperwork was sorted out.

Lomu is charged with criminal fraud and tampering with a witness — both felonies — for his involvement in an alleged attempted cover-up at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) which resulted in an inmate escaping from custody and shooting another man in Leone last year.