Sen. Juan M. Ayuyu (R-Rota) wants to be released from detention and has asked the court to conduct a hearing for this purpose.
Through his lawyer, Joaquin DLG. Torres, the lawmaker filed in federal court on Friday a motion for his release to third-party custodian Michael Borja.
Ayuyu sought for a detention hearing to determine if Borja is a suitable third-party custodian.
A third-party custodian is an individual who takes on the responsibility for a criminal defendant. The government retains this sort of custodian pending criminal court proceedings. The government interviews potential third-party custodians to ensure they meet certain requirements.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona recently ordered the continued detention of Ayuyu pending his trial on new charges of obstruction of justice, tampering with witnesses, and attempting to destroy evidence related to his first case-attempting to smuggle endangered fruit bats.
Manglona remanded the 48-year-old Ayuyu into the custody of the U.S. Marshal after determining that he poses a serious risk, that he will obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice or threaten or attempt to threaten witnesses or intimidate witnesses.
Federal agents arrested Ayuyu after a federal grand jury handed down a new indictment charging him with conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding, obstructing an official proceeding, tampering with a witness, suborning perjury, attempting to prevent testimony of a witness, obstructing the due administration of justice, and attempting to destroy or remove seized property. The lawmaker pleaded not guilty.
Ayuyu was initially indicted for violations of the Endangered Species Act and the Lacey Act for his role in possessing and transporting eight federally protected Mariana fruit bats on Oct. 17, 2010.