Palau Trial Court rejected Roman Yano’s request to turn over the $2.4 million Ngarametal monies to him as the rightful leader of the Ngarametal in an order issued this November 3, 2023. 

The attorney for Roman Yano sent a letter with supporting documents, signed by three of the four Ngarametal senior members, to Justice Salii on October 27, 2023, asking her to release the funds held in the Clerk of Court’s escrow account for the Ngarametal Association, to Roman Yano, whom the letter asserts, is the rightful leader of the Ngarametal Association.

The letter sent by the attorney for Roman Yano attached documents that confirm Roman Yano as the leader of Ngarametal.  The documents include a confirmation document signed by Ngarametal members on August 9, 2021, confirming Roman Yano as President of the Ngarametal Association.  Also included are copies of legal documents and letters executed by Roman Yano as President of the Ngarametal Association, including the lawsuit filed by the national government against Roman Yano in his capacity as the President of Ngarametal.

The Trial Court, in its order, said that it did not find the letter from Roman Yano with its attachments “persuasive.” It said that the letter had three signatures out of the four in support of Roman Yano’s position. In October, an attorney for Mlib Tmetuchl had submitted that Mlib Tmetuchl was the rightful head of Ngarametal and that the Ngarametal funds should be turned over to him.  The court denied the request and ordered attorney James Kennedy to turn over the funds to the court for safekeeping.

The court asserts that there is an ongoing dispute over the leadership of Ngarametal and for the court to turn over funds, a letter of support signed by Mlib Temetuchl, Alex Mereb, Roman Yano, and Hussein Derbai is required for the funds to be turned over.

“The individual chosen to receive the funds need not be the President of the Association. The only requirement is that the recipient of the funds is approved by all the abovenamed individuals. Preferably, all signatures will be part of the same affidavit to prevent any miscommunication.” states the court order.

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