SAIPAN (AFP) – The governor of the US-administered Northern Mariana Islands is feeling the heat after ordering the temporary release of a jailed suspect to give him a massage.
Benigno R. Fitial, the most senior politician in the western Pacific territory, demanded Chinese masseuse, Qing Mei Cheng, be set free on January 8 to treat him for back pain.
The masseuse was taken from the local prison, where she was being held on people smuggling charges, to the governor's mansion before being returned to jail.
"I made this request because this was an unusual situation where I needed to address the extraordinary pain I was experiencing," Fitial said in a statement received Saturday.
A federal court in Saipan on Friday postponed a hearing to investigate the unusual release of a suspect.
Fitial, who won re-election for a second term in a run-off election in November, made headlines late last year when he had to drive himself around after his driver was convicted of dealing drugs from the official car.