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No takers for eight-month vacancy

By Jose Rodriguez Se̱ase KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, Nov. 29, 2010) РIn Palau, there seems to be no taker for the post of Special Prosecutor as no one among those offered the job have signified interest to take it.

This was disclosed by Palau President Johnson Toribiong as he denied that he has been dragging his feet on the naming of a person to head the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Recently, several lawmakers led by Senator Raynold Oilouch have reiterated their appeal to the President to name a Special Prosecutor as soon as possible.

The lawmakers have accused Pres. Toribiong of dragging his feet on the matter and said the Chief Executive should have already appointed a Special Prosecutor considering its vital role of ensuring that high government officials perform their duties and responsibilities in full compliance with the law.

The Special Prosecutor is mandated to investigate white collar crimes and alleged wrongdoings committed by the President, Vice President, members of both houses of the Legislature and their staff.

"There is no truth to the allegation that I’m not keen on appointing a Special Prosecutor," he declared.

"I have tried my best to appoint one, but all those I have approached turned down the offer," he pointed out. He said the level of compensation and the distance going to Palau were the main reasons why the offer was rejected.

The position of Special Prosecutor has been vacant for more than eight months. The position was last held by lawyer Michael Copeland, who resigned early this year.

The President said that he tried to appoint former Alaska State Assistant Attorney General Moivos, but the offer was rejected at the last minute.

"He accepted the offer, but turned it down at the last minute after receiving a better offer in his home state," he disclosed.

Toribiong added that he also tried to name Palau’s Ambassador to Germany Carlos Salii, a lawyer from Saipan and a lady barrister from Pohnpei to the post, but they also declined the appointment.

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