07 February 2004

Micronesia: Clean Gov't, Corrupt Gov't Tied at 1-1

Anticorruption forces have managed to convince the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia not to pass Resolution 13-76, a blanket amnesty for both indicted and unindicted officials accused of corruption.
According to an FSM Congress press release, the measure seeks to "forgive all those who wronged the FSM government" since the beginning of the Compacts of Free Association, a treaty with the United States, from Nov. 3, 1986, to Nov. 3, 2002, who "are not yet convicted."
However, the forces of corruption prevailed earlier, with Resolution 13-69, which discontinued the services of retired judge Richard E. Benson, who had been appointed by the FSM Supreme Court as a Special Justice on a corruption case involving congressmen from Chuuk [Truk] state. (A total of 14 defendants have been named, and as much as $25 million is said to have gone missing.)

FSM President Joseph J. Urusemal has filed a Writ of Prohibition with the FSM Supreme Court seeking to prevent the enforcement of the Benson resolution, on the grounds that it violates constitutional separation of powers. Justice Benson had previously served on the FSM Supreme Court.

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