13 Jul 2007

Palau speaker charged with misuse of funds

2:08 pm on 13 July 2007

Palau's Speaker of the House, Antonio Bells, has been charged with two counts of misuse of government funds.

The Pacific Daily News reports that the charges stem from medical expenses and per diem that Mr Bells, at that time a Delegate on a House business trip to Manila, allegedly incurred.

Special Prosecutor, Everette Walton, alleges that Mr Bells used his government position in an effort to obtain personal financial gain and acted contrary to House Travel Policy and Procedures.

The second count claims Bells used national assets for private, not public purpose.

If found guilty, the Speaker could be fined up to 10,000 US dollars .