KOROR, PALAU – On Monday, August 16, 2021, the Trial Division of the Palau Supreme Court issued a decision ordering former President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., to pay the remaining balance of his $156,400.00 fine by August 13, 2025. Presiding Justice Kathleen M. Salii not only ordered Defendant to pay the complete fine by the above date certain but clarified her order stating: “payments shall be made on a monthly basis in installments of not less than $3,020.00 a month payable on the 20th of each month to the Clerk of Court.” In deference to his position, Defendant Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr.’s 2009 sentence did not include supervised probation to ensure payments were timely made. In light of this the Court did not find his behavior contumacious (stubbornly or willfully disobedient to authority).
The OSP’s goal in filing its Motion for an Order to Show Cause was to ensure collection of the fine imposed on Defendant. The OSP attempted to negotiate a payment plan with Defendant in the hope of settling the Order to Show Cause prior to the scheduled hearing. Unfortunately, a settlement was not reached, and the hearing proceeded on August 9, 2021. At the hearing the Office of the Special Prosecutor presented evidence of Defendant Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. ‘s ability to pay the fine. Despite Defendant’s assets and continual source of income while president and now as former president, Defendant paid only $11,650 to the Republic towards the $156,400.00 fine owed since 2011.
The Court’s decision ordering Defendant to pay the fine on a specific payment schedule will enable the Court to monitor Defendant’s timely compliance with the Court’s new order and fulfillment of Defendant’s original sentence. It is the OSP’s desire to ensure the remaining $144,950.00 of Defendant’s fine is fully paid to the Republic.