3 Feb 2014

More charges against former CNMI AG dropped, penal summons declared invalid

2:23 pm on 3 February 2014

A judge in the Northern Marianas has thrown out two charges filed against the territory's former attorney-general, Edward Buckingham.

This latest motion takes the total number of dismissed counts against Mr Buckingham to five, after three were thrown out two weeks ago.

Jamie Tahana reports.

"In an order released on Friday, the Saipan Tribune reports that Associate Judge Kenneth Govendo granted Mr Buckingham's motion to dismiss the charges of obstructing justice by interfering with the service of process and misconduct in office. The charges relate to Mr Buckingham fleeing the territory in 2012 after a penal summons was issued against him in connection with an alleged violation of election laws and the illegal awarding of a sole-source contract, among others. However, Judge Govendo found the penal summons to be invalid because it was signed by the clerk of the court and not by a judge. Mr Buckingham's trial on the remaining seven charges is scheduled to start next Monday."