Prosecution: Witness in Sun’s case has no visa

The U.S. government has asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI for approval so it could depose one of its witnesses in the case against Sen Sun, saying the witness has no visa to be in the U.S. or in the CNMI.

To depose means to obtain the testimony of a witness outside of court.

Assistant U.S. attorney Eric O’Malley disclosed that the witness is a Chinese citizen who has no visa to be here and has scant ability to support herself while awaiting Sun’s trial.

Sun, also known as Sam Sun, allegedly an overstaying Chinese tourist, was indicted in federal court for operating an unlicensed business that offered trip packages to pregnant Chinese women seeking to give birth here. The indictment charged him with harboring illegal aliens, unlawfully employing aliens, and money laundering. If he has any response to the U.S. government’s motion to depose, he was given until Dec. 13 to do so. The U.S. government has then until Dec. 20 to file any reply.

The hearing on O’Malley’s motion to depose will be on Dec. 21.

In the motion he filed on Monday, O’Malley said the U.S. government’s ability to support the witness is extremely limited and that it may expire before trial and will almost certainly do so if the case is prolonged or delayed.

He said the U.S. government will make sure to secure the witness’ appearance at trial, but in the event that she is unable to do so, the government has—under separate cover—provided notice to Sun of the time and place it intends to take her deposition.

He said the U.S. government has also provided discovery by which Sun can conduct cross-examine the witness.

Discovery refers to a pre-trial procedure in a case in which a party, through a procedure, can obtain evidence from the other party or parties by means of devices such as a request for answers to questions and request for production.

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Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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