Ex-CNMI governor agrees to plea deal with govt

12:56 pm on 23 April 2015

Former CNMI Governor Benigno Fitial has agreed to enter a plea agreement with the government to resolve the criminal case against him, and to avoid going to court.

Our correspondent says this developed after special prosecutor George Hasselback, counsel for the CNMI government, and Mr Fitial's counsel, Stephen Nutting, appeared for an in-chamber conference with Superior Court Associate Judge David Wiseman yesterday.

Judge Wiseman said the change of plea hearing, however, will be subject to the court being satisfied that the technology can allow for a change of plea by international communication through Skype.

Former governor Benigno Fitial

Former governor Benigno Fitial Photo: RNZ Mark Rabago

The remaining charges against Mr Fitial, who reportedly is in the Philippines for medical rehabilitation, refer to alleged criminal activity associated with the police escort provided former Attorney General Edward Buckingham in August 2012 that shielded him from being served with penal summons.