The House of Delegates blasted the Attorney General for failing to defend Palau from the U.S. Trafficking In Persons report, and called for her termination during an oversight hearing with the House Committee on Judiciary and Government Affairs on January 29, 2014.
Attorney General Victoria Roe, Minister of State Billy Kuartei, and Vice President and Minister of Justice Antonio Bells appeared before the Committee to discuss the U.S. 2013 TIP report that ranked Palau a Tier 2 country, meaning the nation does not fully comply with minimum standards of eliminating trafficking.
The delegates questioned Roe extensively about the source of information in the report including statistics of human trafficking victims in the Republic.
The nearly two-hour hearing became heated when the delegates accused the Attorney General for failing to provide a legal analysis as to whether the report is accurate and true.
At one point, Peleliu Delegate Jonathan Isechal called her actions before the Senate JGA oversight hearing last week “stupid”.
The live radio broadcasted hearing intensified when Delegate Isechal publicly read the AG’s contract questioning where in her contract authorized her to speak about the U.S. State Department report to the Senate Committee.
“Where in your contract does it say you can talk about the tier 1 report without the consultation from your immediate supervisor?” Delegate Isechal, who is not a member of the JGA committee asked AG Roe during the hearing.
When AG Roe attempted to explain the Senate’s invitation that led to her appearance before their committee, she was again asked whether Minister Bells gave her permission to speak about the report and its contents.
Delegate Isechal went on to express that he thinks the AG failed in behalf of Palau.
“When she spoke she defended the report”, said Isechal.
“She’s telling us you ought to do this, you ought to do that without no blessing from you (the Minister of Justice), and so I condemn her she ought to be fired tomorrow.”