Trial for first set of criminal charges against former Pohnpei Chief Justice begins
- Category: News
- Published: Friday, 15 December 2017 16:06
- Written by Bill Jaynes
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By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 30, 2017
Pohnpei—The prosecution has presented its opening statement in the first set of criminal charges filed against former Chief Justice Benjamin Rodriguez. The government alleges and intends to try to prove that Rodriguez illegally used government money to pay for travel for a personal medical referral to the Philippines, used government money to pay a personal medical bill, and collected payment from the government for trainings, seminars, and conferences that were fully funded by non-government entities.
“Your Honor, this case is about public corruption, involving a breach of public trust and/or abuse of position by government official,” Pohnpei’s prosecutor said in his opening statement.
The defense presented no opening statement at all.
Justice Anson is presiding over the hearings. So far the prosecution has presented two witnesses.
The hearing has been continued until December 18 at which time the prosecution will present further witnesses.
When the prosecution’s witnesses have all been heard, the defense will have opportunity to present its witnesses.
An initial hearing on a second set of criminal charges against Rodriguez regarding alleged theft of bail money, covering up bail money, and obstruction is also set for December.
Rodriguez is innocent of all charges unless proven otherwise in court.