PALAU LAND LEASE DRAWS CHARGE OF GOVERNMENT ABUSE

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, July 1) — The Office of the Special Prosecutor has asked the Supreme Court to impose civil penalties on the Ngatpang state government and on Chief Rebelkuul Felix Osilek concerning the lease of land.

Ngatpang is a state within the independent nation of Palau.

In a three-page complaint for declaratory judgment and civil penalties, the OSP said that on Nov. 9, 2000, Ngatpang Gov. Surangel Whipps Jr. leased 6,300 square feet of land to Osilek for $100 per month.

The OSP said the lease was "not commercially reasonable" and "unconstitutional."

According to the OSP, Osilek "used his government position to attempt to influence any official action where it was reasonably foreseeable that the action could have a material financial effect on him."

The OSP asked the court to cancel the lease and declare it unconstitutional.

The OSP is also seeking a civil penalty of up to $10,000 imposed on Osilek.

July 1, 2003

Story via Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com 

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