Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Urusemal expresses disappointment with Resolution No. 13-123

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): June 18, 2004 - President Joseph J. Urusemal has conveyed to the 13th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia his great disappointment with a resolution adopted during the recently concluded Session.

The Third Regular Session of the 13th FSM Congress adopted Congressional Resolution 13-123. "[...] denouncing unconstitutional practices by the FSM Department of Justice and repeated acts of unlawful prosecutorial misconduct by Assistant Attorney General Mathew Crabtree [...]"

President Urusemal wrote Speaker Peter M. Christian that he was very troubled by the reference to "unconstitutional practices by the FSM Department of Justice." The letter continued that as the Office entrusted with the protection of public interest and enforcement of the nation's laws, it is incumbent upon the Department of Justice (DOJ) to maintain this trust through its services.

"If an employee of the Department has been overzealous in his duties, that is a matter for the court to decide," wrote the President.

Citing the two recently rejected nominations for the Secretary of Justice, the letter expressed the President's dismay at the Resolution's reference to a "purposefully lethargic" recruitment of the Secretary of the Department.

The letter further noted the President's disappointment in the manner the Resolution was adopted and its passage procedures.

President Urusemal requested Congress to reconsider the Resolution during its next session and urged that the "procedural guidelines of Congress be more stringently applied in the future" to afford full Congressional consideration before passage of similar acts.

In reference to the Resolution's request of expulsion for Matthew Crabtree and Anthony Welch, the President wrote, " I must respectfully decline to do so as I am unaware of any matters that would make such drastic action either warranted or desirable. "I have full confidence in the integrity of all attorneys currently with the Department of Justice and support the efforts being undertaken to assure that the rule of law is applied fairly without bias."

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