Obichang asks court to dismiss senators’ lawsuit

  20 Feb 2018

 

In response to a lawsuit alleging that he violated the Open Government Act and the Constitution for failure to disclose government documents on airport expansion to five senators, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Industries and Commerce (MPIIC) Charles Obichang denies the claims and asks that the suit be dismissed. [restrict]

Obichang, through the Attorney General’s Office yesterday filed his response to the civil lawsuit earlier filed by Senators Regis Akitaya, Camsek Chin, Rukebai Inabo, J. Uduch Senior and Mason Whipps, cited Obichang’s failure to provide the lawmakers government documents pertaining to the airport expansion project despite repeated requests.

“Defendant also notes that all available documents, including signed copies, have been disclosed at various stages in the process. Defendant denies the following: that defendant is required to disclose certain government documents, that defendant has refused to disclose certain government documents, that Plaintiffs have the right to obtain and examine certain government documents as requested,” the six-page answer filed by Assistant Attorney General Caroline Baird reads.

The answer stated that all available documents, which have been requested by the plaintiffs, have all been provided to the Senate and the House of Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK).

Obichang also asserts in his response that he has sovereign and qualified immunity or immune from legal suit on the argument of the plaintiffs that the court should penalize him for violation of the Open Government Act.

The response of Obichang also noted that the plaintiffs have suffered no damages and failed to state a claim upon which a relief can be granted.

Obichang is also asking the court that he be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. (Bernadette H. Carreon) [/restrict]