FORMAL ALLEGATIONS OF OVERSPENDING ON AMERICAN SAMOA’S GOLDEN JUBILEE

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 30, 1999 – Radio Australia)---A committee of the American Samoan Fono (legislature) has recommended that 23 people, including several politicians, be investigated for their alleged involvement in overspending on a national celebration last year.

The committee reported that the budget for the territory's Golden Jubilee Celebration was exceeded by more than 600 percent.

The original budget was US$ 100,000, but the celebration wound up costing more than US$ 620,000.

After a series of hearings, the House of Representatives Investigative Committee released a 400-page report accusing officials of perjury, theft, fraud and dereliction of duty.

Among those accused by the committee of wrongdoing are the Jubilee Chairman Senator Moaaliitele Tuufuli -- now suspended by the Senate -- and a former Legislative Financial Officer, Velega Savali, who has since been fired.

The committee alleged that the pair were at the center of corrupt activities that caused the overspending.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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