28 Jun 2013

CNMI terror case dismissed

5:59 pm on 28 June 2013

A journalist in the Northern Marianas says she is pleased that she is no longer risking jail time for refusing to hand over information on one of her stories.

Tammy Doty and her employer, the Marianas Variety, were subpoenaed in May for a story she wrote about a former governor, Benigno Fitial.

The story resulted in terror charges being laid against a man for allegedly threatening the former governor through his special assistant.

In a trial earlier this month, the special assistant said the man was just venting frustration and the case should have never gone any further.

Tammy Doty says the man was found not guilty after only 15 minutes of deliberations.

Ms Doty says a relatively minor story was completely overblown by the attorney general's office.

"A storm in a teacup might be a good metaphor. Somehow this got completely out of control and like a train that picks up momentum and can't be stopped the attorney general's office just kept charging forward with this when any person with common sense could see what was going to happen. I don't think we will ever know what the motivations were or who was driving this train."