PALAU GOVERNOR ACCUSES PROSECUTOR OF CRIMINAL PAST

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By Nazario Rodriguez, Jr.

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, Oct. 24) – Governor Jackson Ngiraingas of Peleliu State has urged the Palau Supreme Court and the Senate to investigate the alleged criminal record of Palau’s Special Prosecutor Everett Walton, who is now facing a complaint with the Oregon State Bar in the United States.

[PIR editor’s note: Peleliu, an island in Palau, is one of the country’s 16 states and is located to the southwest of the capital, Koror. Last year, the Peleliu State legislature sought to impeach Gov. Jackson Ngiraingas for treason, illegal spending of state funds and for claiming to act on behalf of the Peleliu people when he accused President Tommy Remengesau, his wife, two government ministers, and the special prosecutor of irregularities. Ngiraingas subsequently filed a civil suit, and the Supreme Court later voided the state’s decision to impeach the governor. In April of last year, the office of the Special Prosecutor filed bribery and misconduct in public office charges against Governor Ngiraingas related to his involvement with the Nautilus City Project planned for Peleliu State..]

The complaint was filed on August 30, 2007 by Peter David Moran of 21 Robinson Road Eden Hill Western Australia with the Regulatory Service Division of the Oregon State Bar in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

The 28-page complaint was copy furnished to Vice President and Minister of Justice Elias Camsek Chin, the Olbiil Era Kelulau [national legislature], Senate President Surangel Whipps Sr., Chief Justice Ngiraklsong, Gov. Ngiraingas, recently resigned Associate Justice Larry Miller, and the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Palau Bar Association.

Ngiraingas let his own 28-page copy of the complaint be photocopied by local media in Palau as well as his letter to Chief Justice Ngiraklsong on Oct. 16 and to Senate President Whipps and Senator Yukiwo P. Dengokl, chairman of the committee on Judiciary and Governmental Affairs.

Copies of two communication letters from Walton to the Senate dated March 6, 2006 and March 28, 2006 were also supplied by Ngiraingas regarding Walton’s answers to accusations by Ngiraingas about the American lawyer’s criminal record.

In those letters, Walton denied having criminal record and never having been arrested or charged with any crime as Ngiraingas alleges.

Walton is reported to have submitted his name to the Palau Judicial Nomination Commission to fill the vacant position left by former Associate Justice Miller.

In his letter to the Chief Justice on Oct. 16, 2007, Ngiraingas said it has come to his attention that Walton was heard at a recently held party boasting to several expatriates that he will become the next associate judge and that he is guaranteed the position because it has been arranged from the top.

Ngiraingas also provided the Chief Justice copies of Walton’s background check and alleged past criminal and civil cases in Oregon and Hawaii.

Ngiraingas threw strongly worded accusations to Walton saying the Special Prosecutor "will contaminate the Judicial system of Palau and the people of Palau cannot afford to have this individual do just that to no one of the three branches of our young government system."

"Mr. Chairman, I urge you and the members of the Commission not to place Everett Walton’s name among the seven names to be nominated as required. The integrity of the judicial system of the Republic of Palau is at stake and the people of Peleliu and Palau trust that you and the Commission will make the right decision," Ngiraingas told the Chief Justice.

He also accused Walton of allegedly violating the law that created the office of the special prosecutor.

In his letter on Oct. 17, 2007 to Whipps and Dengokl, Ngiraingas also accused Walton of allegedly lying about his criminal record saying that Walton was suspended for not paying dues with the Oregon State Bar in 1998..

Ngiraingas also noted that in Hawaii sometime in Oct. 25, 1979, Walton was arrested in Sept. 10, 1979, found guilty and was sentenced to six months all suspended.

Ngiraingas also mentioned to Whipps and Dengokl that on April 22, 1995, Walton was again arrested and sentenced for another traffic violation in Oregon.

Ngiraingas’s letter also said in part that it is possible that the President knew Walton’s past and used that to control Walton so as not to pursue investigations on allegations against himself Ministers Temmy Shmull and Elbuchel Sadang.

"The Senate must take immediate action to deal with this matter since you were the one who put him where he is today," Ngiraingas stressed.

He said that should the Senate fail to seriously look into this matter and to remedy it within the proper time frame, he will push further to bring it to the attention of the U.S. Congress either directly or through the U.S. national media and the United Nations.

Ngiraingas also noted that in the coming days, he would expose allegations against Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Minister of State Temmy Shmull and Finance Minister Elbuchel Sadang.

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