Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Attorney sentenced in Pohnpei

POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): August 2000 - FSM Supreme Court Associate Judge Richard Benson passed sentencing, Friday, on two people convicted of violating FSM weapons laws.

Pohnpei attorney Martin Jano and Elizebeth Ciupan, a Philippine national, had been convicted of violating the weapons laws in two different trials, but since the cases involved the same weapons, Benson said he would pass sentencing as the same time.

Jano received three months confinement, with work release during working hours Monday through Friday, for possession of a handgun and rifle, which had no identification numbers, .22 caliber bullets and a .38 caliber bullet. He received one month for possession a shotgun, which had no ammunition.

Also as part of the sentencing, Jano must obey all laws of the nation, state, and municipalities and cannot drink alcohol.

The sentences are to run concurrently.

Jano has filed an appeal.

Ciupan received a suspended six weeks confinement on six counts, two weeks suspended on one count and one week suspended sentence on another count. Her sentences are to run concurrent also. She was placed on three-year probation or until she departs Pohnpei, should this occur.

In passing sentence, Judge Benson said, "The intention of this court is to not interfer with any immigration process" that might occur in the situation of Ciupan. He added that he was making no comment toward positively or negatively about these proceedings.

The cases stem from a shooting incident allegedly occurring at the Inada Apartment Building in Net Municipality on October 3, 1999.

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