A man who posted threats on Facebook to assassinate the President of Federated States of Micronesia David W. Panuelo, has been arrested and charged criminally under FSM Penal Code, Title 11 for making threats of bodily harm.

The defendant, whose name has not been released, threatened bodily harm against FSM President Panuelo in response to FSM President’s decree mandating vaccination of all eligible FSM citizens residing in FSM against COVID-19.  On August 10th, President Panuelo issued an order to enforce the vaccination mandate nation-wide in line with FSM Congressional Resolution No. 22-33 passed on July 28, 2021.

Report from FSM government revealed that FSM investigators in joint effort with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “were able to reach out and secure critical pieces of information from Facebook, Google, and other relevant agencies” linking the defendant to the Facebook post threatening President Panuelo.

As result, a search warrant was issued to search the resident, vehicle and employment of the alleged offender.   Arrest was made and defendant was held over the weekend and released pending trial.

In the press release issued by the Office of FSM President, it stated that not every decision made by the Government including those relating to COVID vaccine will be popular and that it is “healthy, proper and appropriate for citizens to engage in spirited debate” and to “use colorful and expressive language” to express a passionate view point but threats of bodily harm against any person including a public official is prohibited and punishable by law.

Penalty for such crime could be up to 10 years imprisonment and that the “Panuelo-George administration ..does not tolerate threats of physical harm to citizens and residents.” (By: L.N. Reklai)

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