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Criminal Charges Brought Against Former Koror State Governor and his Chief of Staff

Koror, Palau – Charges were brought against Franco Bares Gibbons, former Koror State Governor, and his former Chief of Staff, Joleen Ngoriakl, in the Trial  Division of the Palau Supreme Court.

The Defendants’ first appearance in Criminal Case No. 22-027 will take place on July 6, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. before Presiding Justice Salii in Courtroom 101 at the Palau Supreme Court Trial Division in Koror.

The charges arise from alleged criminal conduct that took place in 2020.  Both defendants are charged with the following criminal offenses:

  1. Misconduct in Public Office (17 PNC § 3918) , a felony relying on a violation of the procurement laws.
  • Code of Ethics violation for misuse of government property (33 PNC § 603), a misdemeanor.
  • Code of Ethics violation for conflict of interest (33 PNC § 604), a misdemeanor.
  • Theft of Government Property in the First Degree (17 PNC § 2615), a felony.
  • Tampering with a Government Record (17 PNC § 4215), a misdemeanor.

Following arraignment, a copy of the Information will be posted on

April Dawn Cripps, Special Prosecutor for the Republic of Palau, made the announcement and will be prosecuting the case with G. Midth Bells, Assistant Special Prosecutor.

NOTE:  A criminal complaint (Information) contains allegations that a defendant committed a crime.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.