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POHNPEI, FSM (Pacific Islands Report, Dec. 24) – The Speaker of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has been indicted on multiple charges involving the theft of government funds.

The 11-count indictment charges Speaker of the Congress Jack Fritz, with fraud, criminal solicitation, and the theft of government funds.

Paul McIlrath, Secretary of the Depar6tment of Justice and Attorney General for the FSM, announced the charges after they were filed with the Supreme Court of the FSM.

McIlrath said the charges are the result of a two-year investigation by the FSM National Public Auditor’s Office and the FSM Department of Justice.

Details of the charges were not immediately available.

If convicted, Fritz faces up to 145 years in prison and more than US$1.2 million in fines.

McIlrath said that while formal charges have been filed, the invesigation against Fritz continues and could result in further charges.

December 24, 2002

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