OUSTED PALAU GOVERNOR CHARGED WITH BRIBERY

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KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, April 18) – The office of the Special Prosecutor in Palau has filed charges against Peleliu State Governor Jackson Ngiraingas.

Ngiraingas this time has been charged with bribery and misconduct in public office charges.

After Special prosecutor Everett Walton filed a case against Ngiraingas last week, the Peleliu governor, in a letter to Palau Senate President Johnny Reklai, said the case was "frivolous."

"Mr. Spotless Walton should have conducted his research and investigation before spending additional government time and public funds trying to find if the governor of Peleliu has committed a crime," Ngiraingas said.

According to the complaint against Ngiraingas, the governor unlawfully and voluntarily received items or 1,080,806 shares of stock of UK Investment Holdings with the value of US$1 per share as well as free lodging, meals, and entertainment "in return for official actions to further and to promote the proposed Nautilus City project in Peleliu."

Ngiraingas, the special prosecutor said, committed illegal acts under the color of office by receiving shares of stocks from a private company.

Ngiraingas said Walton is trying to divert public attention and is selective in his investigations.

In his letter to the Senate, the governor provided a copy of an official trip report to Malaysia and a letter turning down an offer to purchase shares from UK Investment Holdings Limited and serve as its director.

"Mr. Spotless Walton is clearly abusing his position and the Office of the Special Prosecutor and misusing taxpayers’ money to attempt to deviate public attention from his illegal activities and his lack of investigation into the allegations against the president and his ministers. I believe he is deeply involved with politics in Palau and using his position and office for political gain for his friends in the highest office of the land," Ngiraingas said.

The governor has been impeached and ousted by the state legislature, an action that he wants the court to declare as "void."

[PIR editor’s note: According to PIR files, citing Peleliu State constitutional provisions, state legislators passed a resolution impeaching Governor Ngiraingas on April 9.]

April 19, 2006

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

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