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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 8, 2010

Judge calls off hearing regarding masseuse for Northern Mariana Islands governor

Associated Press

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Island — A federal judge says the court won’t play an investigative role in the case of a woman being let out of prison to give the governor of the Northern Mariana Islands a massage.

U.S. District Judge Alex Munson on Monday granted the U.S. territory’s motions to quash U.S. government subpoenas and to void a court order for an evidentiary hearing for later this month.
Federal prosecutors had argued Gov. Benigno Fitial needed to answer questions about temporarily freeing the woman who is facing charges in a human smuggling case.
Munson said a traditional investigation and use of a grand jury are more appropriate than a court hearing to determine if the government’s case against the woman or her rights may have been prejudiced by the unusual events.