5 May 2014

Turbulence in CNMI politics may now ease

7:23 pm on 5 May 2014

It is hoped that a significant chapter in the political history of the Northern Marianas' will end with the filing of criminal charges against the territory's former governor, Benigno Fitial.

The charges, filed on Thursday, relate to the unauthorised release of a prison inmate to give the then-governor a back massage; the illegal awarding of a sole-source contract; and shielding the former attorney general, Edward Buckingham, from being served a penal summons.

Mr Fitial resigned in February last year, days after being impeached by the legislature, before fleeing for the Philippines a day later.

Our correspondent in Saipan says with Buckingham convicted and sentenced and Mr Fitial before the court, there is a feeling a turbulent chapter in the territory's history is almost behind it.