Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Pre-trial diversion program geared towards minor violations

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): February 4, 2005 - A proposal to establish a national pre-trial diversion program is currently before the 13th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia for consideration.

During the November 2004 Fourth Regular session, the Executive Branch had submitted its proposal (Congressional Bill No. 13-68) to seek a pretrial diversion program for minor criminal offenses as an alternative to the costly process of conventional criminal justice processing.

The program as proposed would be administered by the Department of Justice under the supervision of the Secretary of the department. The Secretary selects participants based upon eligibility criteria as established in the proposal.

As an alternative for minor offenses, the proposed program would be individually tailored by the Secretary to be suitable to the crimes committed and those involved. The proposed Bill would however not be applicable to cases involving:

  1. a person accused of an offense that must be diverted to a State for prosecution;

  2. a person previously enrolled and failed in the program;

  3. any offense punishable by more than five years imprisonment.

In addition, the Bill is not intended to give amnesty to elected or appointed public officials that have committed crimes against the public trust.

According to the intents of the Bill, the major objectives noted for the program would be to:

  1. prevent future criminal activity,

  2. save prosecutorial and judicial resources; and

  3. provide, where appropriate, an avenue for restitution to communities and victims of crime.

While the Bill is going through the normal process of Congress reviews and public hearings, the Administration itself is re-examining various aspects of the Bill to detail a more comprehensive understanding of the proposed program.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356