17 May 2013

Former CNMI governor Fitial recovering from surgery in Manila

10:31 am on 17 May 2013

The former governor of the Northern Marianas, Benigno Fitial, has been found recuperating from gall bladder surgery at a hospital in the Philippines' capital city, Manila.

Mr Fitial's Republican Party colleagues have told the Saipan Tribune that the major operation is the reason the former governor has been in the Philippines since he resigned as governor in February.

Mr Fitial stood down just days before he was due to face an impeachment trial in the Senate on corruption, felony and neglect of duty charges, and he hasn't been heard from since.

He is facing seven charges filed by the Office of the Public Auditor for his role in an alleged conspiracy to shield the former attorney general, Edward Buckingham, from being served a penal summons in 2012.

Mr Buckingham was last night arrested in the US state of Colorado.