by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Nearly five years after the case was first filed in the Superior Court, the Blue House Lounge prostitution case is expected to go to trial next month. The case was delayed due to an appeal filed by Police Officer David Q. Manila, who appealed the trial court's denial of his bail motions. The Supreme Court dismissed that appeal and Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola indicated that she intends to act "diligently and expeditiously". A pre-trial conference will be held on Monday.
But Song Ja Cha's attorney, Randy Cunliffe, believes there are still issues over whether there is a valid third superceding indictment against his client, Manila and Anthony Quenga. Cunliffe argues the court had no jurisdiction to hear the return from the grand jury when his client had a pending appeal before the Guam Supreme Court.
"Our position is that when the indictment was returned, this court had no jurisdiction," said Cunliffe. The judge replied, "Okay, so she's going to need to be re-arraigned?", to which Cunliffe said, "No, re-indicted." Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Quan disagrees with the defense's position and believes they can move forward with the charges contained in the third superceding indictment that was handed down earlier this year.
Judge Sukola took the matter under advisement and will make a decision on Monday, but indicated at this point she is siding with the government on the issue.