20 May 2013

Hopes for CNMI former Governor's healthy return to face charges

10:20 am on 20 May 2013

The Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands says he hopes former governor Benigno R. Fitial recovers well so that he can return home and attend to his personal issues, including facing criminal charges.

Multiple sources confirmed last week that Mr Fitial is recuperating from gall bladder surgery in the Philippines.

The Office of the Public Auditor has filed charges for Mr Fitial's role in an alleged conspiracy to shield former attorney general Edward Buckingham from being served a penal summons in August 2012.

The OPA's George Hasselback is asking the court to quash a penal summons on Mr Fitial and re-issue a previously signed arrest warrant for the former governor so that the prosecution of the case may proceed.

Governor Eloy S. Inos says this decision about his predecessor's case is strictly out of the OPA.

He says Mr Fitial is not only the first CNMI governor to resign but is also the first one to be impeached by the House of Representatives.