Charges vs ex-CPA police captain Rebuenog dismissed
The case stemmed from Kosam’s and Rebuenog’s alleged role in shielding then-attorney general Edward Buckingham from being served with penal summons in 2012.
Kosam pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office as part of a plea deal with the government.
Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja sentenced the 43-year-old Kosam to one year in prison but suspended the imposition of the sentence. Instead, he placed Kosam on three years of supervised release. If Kosam does not violate any terms of his supervised release, the one-year prison term will be vacated.
Kosam was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, $300 in probation fee, and $25 in court costs. Kosam agreed to apply the $500 bail that he posted to the probation fee, court costs, and fine. This leaves him with only $825 to pay.
Kosam will be prohibited from being employed with the CNMI government for 10 years.
“No one is above the law. No one,” Naraja told the defendant.
Before the sentence was handed down, Kosam apologized to the court and the community.
In an interview after the hearing yesterday, special prosecutor George Hasselback said he and attorney Joaquin Torres, counsel for Kosam, worked very closely on this plea agreement and that he believes that Kosam has genuinely apologized for his actions on Aug. 3 and 4, 2012.
“I think he’s taking responsibility for those actions,” he said.
Hasselback said Kosam understands that the one-year sentence can come back should he violate the terms of his probation.
“I think that’s fair resolution. And we’re happy with it,” he said.
On the dismissal of Rebuenog’s case, Hasselback said they moved to dismiss the charges. He said among the factors in moving to dismiss are judicial economy, the resources of the prosecution, and available evidence.
The government, through Hasselback, filed the case against Kosam in May 2013.
The information charged Kosam with, among others, theft of services, obstructing justice, interference with a law enforcement officer or witness, tampering with judicial records or process, and eight counts of misconduct in public office.
As part of the plea agreement, the remaining charges were dismissed.
According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, on the night of Aug. 3, 2012, and the morning of Aug. 4, 2012, Kosam, as a “police officer,” had a duty to promptly make diligent effort to execute or serve any and all process in any criminal proceeding.
However, despite having actual knowledge of the existence of a penal summons issued by the Superior Court and having actual knowledge of the person upon whom that summons was to be served, he did not make diligent effort to serve it either personally or through another police officer.
Then-attorney general Buckingham was the subject of the penal summons.
Meanwhile, Associate Judge David A. Wiseman dismissed without prejudice yesterday the charges against 36-year-old Rebuenog.
Wiseman dismissed the charges against Rebuenog after Hasselback moved to drop the charges.
With Kosam’s guilty plea and the dismissal of the charges against Rebuenog, it means that only former Department of Public Safety deputy commissioner Ambrosio T. Ogumoro remains a defendant in this case.
The trial of Ogumoro will start on Jan. 19, 2016.
Ogumoro is facing 15 counts of criminal charges.
The charges against three other co-defendants were already resolved. Former governor Benigno R. Fitial pleaded guilty, while Buckingham was convicted during a bench trial. The charges against Fitial’s former personal driver and bodyguard Jermaine Joseph W. Nekaifes were dismissed.