By Rolynda Jonathan
Ten of thirty-two pardons granted by the former President of the Republic of Palau are being challenged in court by the Attorney General’s office.
The pardons sparked debate on whether former President Johnson Toribiong violated procedures set by law when granting these pardons, approved commutations and reprieves.
Crimes convicted by the 32 pardoned criminals range from reckless driving, tadalafil money laundering, this web assault and battery to more serious crimes, such as rape and even first degree murder. But the Attorney General’s office is only challenging 10 of the 32 pardons asking the court to void and null these pardons that consists of convicted crimes of money laundering, perjury, assault, grand larceny, disturbing the peace, broadcasting violations, and attempted export of uncultured clams to name a few.
Of those whose pardons are being challenged are former Senator Alfonso Diaz, Margo Llecholch, Sherry Tadao, Deborah Rengiil, Seiko King, Mark Remeliik, Santory Baiei aka Santory Ngirkelau, Steven Kanai, Ngirakesol Maidesil, and Julius Temengil.
Granting pardons is a common practice by Presidents around the world particularly when the individual has shown remorse and has taken responsibility for their actions. When asked why he granted such pardons, the former President simply said “compassion.”