by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Just as the superior court is preparing to set the Blue House prostitution case for trial, more delays to report in the case. Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola today addressed an issue raised by former Blue House Lounge owner Song Ja Cha's attorney Randy Cunliffe during a previous hearing.
As we reported Cunliffe argued that the case needed to be presented to the grand jury again as he contends the trial court lacked jurisdiction to receive the grand jury return of the third superceding indictment. Judge Sukola however noted that while trial court's are normally divested over matters being appealed, there are certain exceptions.
"This court is of the opinion based on it research that I just did and the court will be issuing a written order that the Magistrate Judge, Tolentino, was correct in hearing the arraignment on a limited basis. I conclude that that court the magistrate court, did have jurisdiction to arraign the defendant on a superceding indictment," her honor said.
Cunliffe is currently involved in a trial and Attorney Jeff Moots informed the court that the firm will be moving to withdraw from representing Cha in the case as one of the witnesses is the firm's former client. "It's very concerning, Mr. Moots, because you've had this witness list since December of last year. And now you're telling me this on the eve of trial? Notwithstanding making oral motions I don't know if it's to delay. We'll come back Wednesday," said Judhe Suklola.
There are a total of 33 witnesses between the government and the defense and Judge Sukola indicated she will sit a jury of 12 people with six alternate jurors.
The withdrawal motion was filed this afternoon with the court. There are a total of 33 witnesses between the government and the defense and Judge Sukola indicated she will sit a jury of 12 people with six alternate jurors.
The pre-trial conference will continue on Wednesday morning.