13 Mar 2013

Fomer CNMI governor Fitial due in court on seven criminal charges

4:19 pm on 13 March 2013

The Office of the Public Auditor in the Northern Marianas has filed seven criminal charges against the former governor Benigno Fitial.

The charges involve an alleged conspiracy to shield a former attorney general, Edward Buckingham, from being served a penal summons last August.

The OPA's special prosecutor, George Hasselback, the summons was issued on charges that include conspiracy to commit theft and to obstruct justice.

He says evidence suggests that Mr Fitial abused his power.

"The investigators who work for our office have frankly done a fantastic job. They've worked very hard to gather information about what occured last August and we believe what their investigation has revealed is evidence of a concerted effort on the part of many individuals, some of whom were at the time in significant positions of public trust."

George Hasselback says Mr Fitial is expected to appear in court on Monday.