Rehearing petition denied for Gutierrez, Rios - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Rehearing petition denied for Gutierrez, Rios

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - A second indictment handed down against former governor Carl Gutierrez and former Government of Guam Retirement Fund Director John Rios is not double-jeopardy.  That's the latest in an opinion issued today from the Guam Supreme Court as they denied a petition for rehearing.

Gutierrez and Rios were indicted for alleged theft offenses but the charges were dismissed without prejudice.  Justices found the Superior Court misapplied the statutes when it dismissed the charges in the second indictment against the two former officials and denied Gutierrez and Rios' petition for a rehearing.

In response to the opinion, Gutierrez attorney Randy Cunliffe stated, "The issue of double-jeopardy was created by the Supreme Court's initial decision in this appeal. Their reasoning in the initial decision brought the issue into play. The decision by Judge Benson in the trial court was that the Attorney General could not establish that either Gutierrez or Rios had violated the law. This has already gone to trial, but only against Gil Shinohara because the Gutierrez and Rios appeal was in the Supreme Court.

"The government witnesses in the Shinohara trial established what Judge Benson had earlier found, which was that the AG could not establish that a law had been violated. Shinohara was found not guilty. The government witnesses testified that Gutierrez was entitled to the retirement he was receiving and that others had done the same thing with their retirement.

"An indictment is merely an allegation. Since Retirement Fund personnel have already testified that Gutierrez was entitled to this retirement, any further prosecution in this matter would underscore the political nature of these proceedings. Governor Gutierrez will continue to fight these political attacks and knows that he will prevail."

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