Sen. Juan M. Ayuyu (R-Rota) has asked the federal court to reopen his detention hearing and release him on a $20,000 cash bail and property.
Ayuyu's petition will be heard today, Tuesday, at 9am.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona said she expects the parties to focus on whether the information regarding cash, property, and third-party custodians was known or should have been known to Ayuyu at the time of his detention hearing on Dec. 19, 2012.
The other issue is whether this information is material to whether Ayuyu will obey stay-away orders and refrain from interfering with potential witnesses, she said.
Ayuyu, through counsel Joaquin DLG. Torres, filed the petition on Friday.
Torres asked the court to modify Ayuyu's bail to a $20,000 cash bail that will be secured by a 6.7-hectare property on Rota. Torres asked the court to release the senator to the custody of his wife and daughter.
The charges against Ayuyu at this point are mere allegations and he is still presumed innocent of all charges, Torres said.
Torres said the cash being presented now as bail and the information regarding the property on Rota were not available at the time of the initial detention hearing.
Also, the lawyer said, the proposed third-party custodians were not on island and were not available during the initial detention hearing.
“Defendant here is a senator from the first senatorial district who still has two years to serve on his seat. He has been a resident of the CNMI all his life. His wife lives on the island of Rota. There is no reason to conclude that defendant is a flight risk,” Torres said.
Ayuyu, 48, is facing criminal charges in two indictments over an alleged conspiracy to smuggle eight dead Mariana fruit bats from Rota to Saipan.
The indictment alleged that on Oct. 17, 2010, Ayuyu and Ryan Manglona conspired to conceal eight dead Mariana fruit bats beneath 40 lbs of lemon inside a cardboard box.