18 Feb 2013

CNMI governor's Senate impeachment trial not until next month

4:11 pm on 18 February 2013

The Senate trial of the Northern Marianas governor Benigno Fitial will not start until March.

This comes after the Senate, by a vote of 8-0 last Friday adopted the rules to govern the first ever impeachment trial in the history of the CNMI or any U.S. insular area.

The Senate president Jude Hofschneider is now preparing a letter to the governor for release this week, and the initial plan is to give the governor a week to respond to the charges against him.

Under the rules, the governor is prohibited from contacting senators, and vice versa, on matters relating to the impeachment trial.

The Fitial administration is understood to be planning to bring in lawyers from outside the territory in its fight against the charges.