CNMI's Fitial pleaded guilty for family

4:05 am on 15 May 2015

The lawyer for the former Northern Marianas governor says his client entered into a plea deal with the government to avoid a lengthy trial that would have taken a toll on his family and his health.

Former CNMI governor Benigno Fitial

Former CNMI governor Benigno Fitial Photo: RNZ Mark Rabago

Stephen Nutting, lawyer for Benigno Fitial, who resigned in 2013 after he was impeached by the territory's legislature, says Fitial decided to plead guilty to protect his family.

Fitial last week pleaded guilty to charges of misconduct in public office and conspiracy to commit theft of services, making him the first leader of the CNMI to be convicted.

He will be sentenced on the 17th of June.

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