The Office of the Public Auditor in the Northern Marianas has filed seven criminal charges against former governor Benigno R. Fitial.
The charges involve an alleged conspiracy to shield former attorney general Edward T. Buckingham from being served a penal summons in August last year.
The office says OPA said there is sufficient probable cause to issue a penal summons for Fitial on charges of conspiracy to commit theft of services, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, obstruction of justice, and misconduct in public office, among others
The Associate Judge David A. Wiseman has issued a penal summons that ordered the former governor to appear in court
The judge told Fitial, who reportedly is now in the Philippines, that he is entitled to a lawyer.