By Jacob Nakamura
Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig who is facing federal corruption charges has asked the federal judge in the CNMI to delay his trial so he has time to obtain FBI reports and Office of Public Auditor reports of the interviews and statements of Guam Senator Wil Castro and CNMI Governor Ralph Torres.
Atalig was indicted in September of last year following an FBI investigation into public corruption. He is accused of using government funded trips under fraudulent pretenses. Those trips include travel to Guam at a time a series of political fundraisers and functions were held on Guam for CNMI Governor Ralph Torres and the CNMI Republican Party.
According to a motion filed by Atalig’s attorney last week, the Mayor needs more time to obtain the reports from the US Attorney and the FBI. Atalig’s attorney wrote to the US Attorney asking for copies of notes of numerous interviews by the FBI to include FBI and Public Auditor Notes relating to Senator Wil Castro and Governor Torres.
United States Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona granted Atalig’s request and his trial that was scheduled to begin on January 8th has now been continued to March 10, 2020.