12 Feb 2013

CNMI governor impeached on additional felony charges

5:27 am on 12 February 2013

The Northern Marianas Governor, Benigno Fitial has been impeached by the territory's House of Representatives on several felony charges.

The governor can be impeached and convicted on any of 18 charges of corruption, felony and neglect of duty.

The first three articles adopted by the 20-member House yesterday are in connection with the unauthorised release of a federal inmate to allegedly give the governor a massage at his private residence early one morning 3 years ago.

The articles were adopted by a vote of 16 to 4, with just 14 votes needed for the impeachment.

With the House result, Mr Fitial will now face the Senate for trial.

It is the first time in CNMI history that a governor has gone through the impeachment process.