The lawyer for Rota Sen. Juan M. Ayuyu is asking for more time to prepare for their defense in the trial that’s scheduled for next month.
Ayuyu, along with Ryan James Manglona, was charged in October with violating and conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act and Lacey Act.
The indictment alleged that on Oct. 17, 2010, Ayuyu and Manglona conspired to hide eight dead Mariana fruit bats (Pteropus mariannus mariannus) beneath 40 lbs of lemons inside a cardboard box in an attempt to transport the box to Saipan aboard a Freedom Air flight.
Steven P. Pixley, counsel for Ayuyu, told the federal court Wednesday that because the government has provided voluminous discovery documents, the review of these newly disclosed documents will require more time.
Ayuyu has pleaded not guilty.
The jury trial is currently set to start on Jan. 7, 2013. The defendants were released on $20,000 unsecured bond plus other conditions.
Last week, a hearing was conducted to determine whether Ayuyu violated one or more local laws while on pretrial release for this criminal case when the senator allegedly threatened to kill Rep. Janet U. Maratita during a telephone conversation on Dec. 4, 2012, at about 3:45 p.m. The federal court however finds no evidence that will revoke the pretrial release of the lawmaker.
A change of plea agreement for Ayuyu’s co-defendant, Ryan James Manglona, is set today, Dec. 14 at 2pm.