SAIPAN — Special prosecutor James Robert Kingman has subpoenaed former Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ Bank of Guam account records in connection with allegations filed by the CNMI Office of the Attorney General of misconduct in office pertaining to first-class travel.

Patrick Diaz, CNMI Superior Court clerk of court, issued a subpoena to Bank of Guam on May 9, requiring the bank to produce specific documents, records or evidence relevant to the case.

The subpoena stated:

“You are hereby ordered to provide as soon as possible and to the Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Division, Caller Box 10007, Saipan, MP 96950, all Bank of Guam records and transaction records, i.e., account applications, deposit slips, withdrawal slips, wire transfer transactions, ATM and/or credit card transactions, cashier’s checks, copies (front and back) of all checks drawn from all accounts, and bank statements for RALPH DLG TORRES, between January 2016 to January 2023, including records of if and when the account was closed and the reason why the account was closed.”

Professional conduct

At the hearing Monday before Judge Pro Tem Arthur Barcinas, Kingman also accused Ralph DLG Torres’ defense attorneys of violating rules of professional conduct and having conflicts of interest. He asked the court to allow him to file, under seal, a motion concerning the defense attorneys.

Ralph DLG Torres’ lawyers — Viola Alepuyo, Victorino Torres, Matthew Holley and Anthony Aguon — didn't object.

Barcinas granted Kingman’s request and gave the defendant’s attorneys leave to file any objection regarding the unsealing of the government’s motion.

Toward the end of the hearing, attorney Sean Frink requested that witnesses United Airlines and former Public Auditor Mike Pai be released from their obligation to appear pursuant to the subpoenas they had been served. Neither the government nor the defense objected to the request.

Barcinas ordered that all potential jurors and witnesses, including those represented by Frink, are released from their obligation to appear in court on June 5. Upon consideration of the parties’ requests and the judge’s calendar and schedule, the jury trial scheduled for June 5 was vacated.

A scheduling conference will be held that day to discuss all pending matters, including a new trial date.

The former governor was charged by the AG’s office with 12 counts of misconduct in public office and one count of theft relating to the issuance of airline tickets for business class, first class, or other premium class travel for himself and/or Diann T. Torres, his wife.

Filed on April 8, 2022, the complaint also alleged one count of contempt for failure to appear in compliance with a legislative subpoena.

Former Gov. Torres has denied the charges.