April 29, 2015

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press

April 25, 2015 Pohnpei, FSM --On April 6 the attorney for Francis Itimai, former FSM Secretary for Transportation, Communications, and Infrastructure (TC&I), filed a motion to dismiss the information on seven charges filed against him by the FSM Department of Justice (DOJ). The information on the charges was filed not long before the President terminated Itimai's employment.

The deadline for opposition to Itimai's Motion to Dismiss was April 10. At press time the motion had gone unchallenged by DOJ which also made no motion for enlargement of time to respond.

Itimai's Motion to Dismiss claims that, "All seven counts (against him) stemmed from one set of facts, that Micronesian Shipping Commission (MSC) advanced Defendant the amount of $926 on May 2, 2013, to cover three days of official duties in Yap on an amended Travel Authorization (TA from May 2 through May 5, 2013); and that Defendant used funds from the Maritime Operations Revolving Fund to purchase a World Map from MSC (Micronesia Shipping Commission) on or about May 17, 2013."

The motion claims that DOJ's charges are moot since in November of 2013 he personally reimbursed MSC for the advance the commission had given him after FSM refused to reimburse him for the extra days he spent in Yap pursuing a water project with the ADB. Admitting no guilt in the matter of the map purchase, he also personally reimbursed the FSM General Fund for the purchase of the map not long before the charges were filed.

The motion claims that Itimai never said that the map was his personal property as the DOJ information on the charges claimed. The map initially cost the MSC a bit more than what TC&I paid for it and is still in the possession of TC&I even after the President terminated Itimai's employment.

Itimai says that the map is constantly in use, contrary to the claims of the DOJ's information on the charges against him.

His Motion to Dismiss alleges that the FSM President's familial relationship with the former Director of the Micronesia Shipping Commission (MSC) played a role in FSM's filing of the charges against him.