New deadline set for govt to file restitution claim against Fitial


Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman set a new deadline yesterday for the CNMI government to file its restitution claim against former governor Benigno R. Fitial in connection with his criminal conviction.

Wiseman allowed the government to file its request for restitution on or before Oct. 19, 2015. Fitial will then have 10 days to file any objections.

The judge set the new deadlines in order for Fitial and his counsel, Stephen Nutting, to facilitate further discussions with special prosecutor George L. Hasselback.

The original deadline for the government to submit its restitution claim was on Sept. 10, 2015.

Saipan Tribune ran a story last Friday, Oct. 2, about the government’s failure to file a request for restitution by the Sept. 10 deadline. In that article, Hasselback disclosed that he is in talks with Nutting about coming up with the amount of restitution.

In his order yesterday, Wiseman disclosed that last Friday, Oct. 2, Hasselback and Nutting appeared before his courtroom via a telephone conference to discuss the continuance of certain deadlines in order to give the parties more time to hammer out the amount owed by Fitial in restitution to the Commonwealth.

Last Aug. 18, Fitial, through Nutting, paid the $6,000 fine and $100 court assessment fee that the court had imposed on him.

Fitial pleaded guilty in May to misconduct in public office and conspiracy to commit theft of service as part of a plea agreement with the government.

Wiseman sentenced Fitial to a year in prison. The former governor was supposed to start serving his prison term last July 6, but Gov. Eloy S. Inos commuted the prison term.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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