Rota mayor seeks to file motion to dismiss under seal

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 ROTA Mayor Efraim Atalig wants to file under seal the motion to dismiss the indictment against him.

His attorney, David Banes, on Monday told the District Court for the NMI that the U.S. government prosecutor agreed to the filing of the motion under seal.

He said the motion will reference information regarding the grand jury proceedings in the case and Henthorn materials covered by the court’s protective order dated Feb. 25, 2020.

Henthorn materials refer to information about agents and investigators who have interviewed a witness or defendant.

Banes at last week’s status conference informed the court that he would file a motion to dismiss the indictment against his client.

Mayor Atalig and co-defendant Evelyn Atalig are accused of arranging CNMI-government funded trips to California, Palau, Guam, and Saipan from Feb. 2018 to Aug. 2018.

A superseding indictment charged the Ataligs with conspiracy, wire fraud, theft from program receiving federal funds, and two counts of false statements.

Attorney Steven Pixley represents Evelyn Atalig.

Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona set the hearing for June 2, 2020 at 10 a.m. for Mayor Atalig’s motion to dismiss.

The jury trial for the Ataligs is now scheduled for July 7, 2020 at 10 a.m.

In the CNMI Superior Court, Mayor Atalig and seven of his former and current resident directors were charged with misconduct in public office.

They are accused of taking government-funded per diem and salary compensation to attend a Republican campaign rally on Guam on June 23, 2018.




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