Former BOOST contractor Shayne Villanueva pleads not guilty to contempt of legislature in the NMI Superior Court on Saipan today.

His not-guilty plea came after nearly an hour of argument from Villanueva’s attorney, asserting that Villanueva’s 4th amendment right was violated due to what they allege is an inaccurate affidavit under the arrest warrant.

At first, Villanueva asked for a continuance for the arraignment and said he was not able to enter a plea today.

We spoke to Special Prosecutor James Kingman after the hearing.

“At the last minute, the defense filed a motion trying to push the arraignment off and the judge was not inclined to do so, which I appreciate. There are procedures to these things and I certainly hope that everyone follows them appropriately, otherwise, we’re going to just continue to see delays,” said Kingman. 

The judge said Villanueva’s objections should be heard after arraignment. 

In March, Villanueva was found in contempt by the CNMI House after he invoked his 5th Amendment right in response to questions about the BOOST program and his involvement in it.

KUAM asked, “Mr. Villanueva, any comment? Do you deny any wrongdoing with the BOOST  program?”

Villanueca did not respond. 

The judge set a status conference for May 6 at 9:30 a.m. They discussed potentially holding the bench trial in October.