Wiseman sets trial date for Ogumoro, 2 co-defendants


The delayed criminal case against former Department of Public Safety deputy commissioner Ambrosio T. Ogumoro and his two co-defendants now has a date for a jury trial.

Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman ordered Ogumoro, former Commonwealth Ports Authority police chief Jordon Kosam, and former CPA police captain John T. Rebuenog to appear at the trial on Jan. 18, 2016.

Wiseman set the pretrial conference for Dec. 23, 2015.

The judge pointed out that the case has been delayed for 10 months now.

At a trial setting conference last week, Ogumoro appeared with his lawyer, Edward Arriola. Rebuenog appeared with his counsel, Daniel Guidotti, on behalf of attorney Colin Thompson.

Kosam’s counsel, Joaquin Torres, appeared. Kosam’s presence was waived as he is currently off-island. Last December, he asked the court for permission to travel to Denver, Colorado, where he has been hired as a truck driver.

The CNMI Supreme Court recently issued an order that lifted its previous order staying or suspending the trial proceedings in this matter.

The high court suspended the trial proceedings in November last year while it reviewed Ogumoro’s petition for writ of mandamus or prohibition.

Ogumoro’s petition had sought to prevent Wiseman from presiding over his criminal case for his alleged role in shielding then-attorney general Edward Buckingham from being served with penal summons in 2012.

Last Sept. 11, the CNMI Supreme Court issued an order finding that Ogumoro did not demonstrate that an extraordinary remedy such as a writ of mandamus or prohibition is warranted.

Ogumoro is facing 15 counts of criminal charges.

The case against three other co-defendants has already been resolved. Former governor Benigno R. Fitial pleaded guilty, while Buckingham was convicted during a bench trial. The case against Fitial’s former personal driver and bodyguard, Jermaine Joseph W. Nekaifes, was dismissed.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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