By: L.N. Reklai
December 7, 2016 (Koror, Palau) Senator Joel Toribiong, in a letter to Minister of Justice Antonio Bells, demands that Bells take immediate action to have Acting Attorney General Evan Robbins resign and leave the country.
In his letter, Senator Toribiong cites the recent criminal case of Sheryl Saito, case involving drug trafficking and drug possession which was dismissed with prejudice due to failure of the Acting General Attorney Evan Robbins to file a timely response to Saito’s motion to dismiss.
According to Toribiong, Robbins must be sanctioned for failing to provide competent representation for his client, the Republic of Palau.
“Because of his incompetence, the serious charges of two counts of Trafficking and Possession of Methamphetamine against defendant Saito were dismissed with prejudice,” stated Toribiong.
Earlier this year ROP charged Sheryl Saito on two counts of possession of controlled substance (methamphetamine or ice) and two counts of trafficking. Saito filed a motion to dismiss stating that based on the Speedy Trial Act, her rights were violated because her case did not get to trial within 70 days.
Attorney General’s Office filed a motion showing that the delay was due to late receipt of testing results from Guam Crime Lab and this should be excluded from the 70 days limit imposed by Court. The Court issued an order on October 10th ruling in favor of the government and denying Saito’s motion to dismiss.
After the ruling, government did not act within the time limit to bring the case to trial and the defendant filed another motion to dismiss. On November 11, 2016, the court issued an order dismissing the case with prejudice due to lack of timely response by the government.
On November 29, 2016, government filed a motion to Reconsider Oder of Dismissal asking the court to reverse its order.
Defendant Saito filed a response stating that the government’s motion should be denied because it filed its motion based on Rules of Civil Procedures which is limited to civil proceeding and there’s no rule that allows a Motion to Reconsider in a criminal case.
According to Saito, government did not show any new fact or evidence that could have been brought to court’s attention and that problems within the AG’s office are irrelevant to this case and should be held against the defendant.
As of publication, the court have not responded to the latest filing from the government. [/restrict]