26 Apr 2014

Fitial returns to CNMI for trial

1:22 pm on 26 April 2014

The impeached former governor of the Northern Marianas, Benigno Fitial, has returned to Saipan for next week's appearance in the Superior Court.

Mr Fitial left the CNMI suddenly after resigning in February last year when he was due to appear before the Senate for an impeachment trial.

He was then charged with shielding a former attorney general Edward Buckingham from being served with penal summons in 2012.

Mr Fitial is now back in the CNMI after an associate judge, David Wiseman, quashed an arrest warrant in exchange for his voluntary return to the territory.

Judge Wiseman says pre-trial conditions will be discussed when the former governor appears in court.

In February, Buckingham was found guilty of all public corruption charges except one and sentenced to three and a half years in prison, but the sentence was suspended.