September 16, 2014
SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (AP) - The governor of the
Northern Mariana Islands has admitted ordering the temporary
release from jail of his masseuse to relieve persistent back pain.
Gov. Benigno Fitial said Thursday he didn't realize the woman
was being held on federal charges in a human smuggling case when he
tried to reach her.
Fitial says he asked commonwealth Corrections Commissioner
Dolores Aldan to have the 28-year-old woman brought to the
governor's residence on Jan. 8. Fitial tried unsuccessfully to
reach federal and commonwealth attorneys beforehand.
The governor and Aldan say she, three corrections officers and
his wife were present during the massage therapy session.
The masseuse was returned to jail the same day.
A federal judge ordered a hearing into the woman's release.
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