Former IPI chairwoman must explain why she can’t pay legal fees

Cui Lijie had been ordered to pay legal fees and costs by June 21.
Cui Lijie had been ordered to pay legal fees and costs by June 21.

CNMI Court has called Cui Lijie to appear in court on June 18 to explain why she cannot pay $182,637 in attorney fees and costs.

Northern Mariana Islands.-  Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has ordered IPI chairwoman Cui Lijie to appear in court to provide a financial report explaining why she cannot pay attorney’s fees in a timely manner. She’s been called to appear at 9am on June 18 accompanied by a competent Mandarin interpreter.

At the end of May, Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered former IPI chairwoman Cui Lijie to pay $182,637.53 in attorneys’ fees and costs by June 21. However, on June 6, 2022, Cui Lijie , through attorney Joey San Nicolas, filed a motion asking the court to allow her to pay $5,000 in monthly instalments and the full amount by June 2025, rather than a lumpsum amount by June 21.

According to Mariana’s Variety, Cui said: “I presently do not have funds to pay the said attorneys’ fees and costs to plaintiffs’ attorneys.”

She said: “I will receive funds from business associates and family members to help pay for the said attorneys’ fees.”

Cui is a witness in a lawsuit brought against IPI and its former contractors and subcontractors MCC International and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration by seven construction workers. The plaintiffs allege labour rights violations and human trafficking.

In April, Cui Lijie was also ordered to pay court fines totalling $42,200. According to Cui’s calculations, the fines should total $36,200.

NMI senator pushes to open up casino licences on the islands

As previously reported by Focus Gaming News, Paul A. Manglona, a member of the Senate’s minority bloc, has again called for progress on Senate Bill 22-23. The bill would end Imperial Pacific International’s exclusivity as the only casino licensee on the islands.

Manglona sent a letter to senate floor leader Vinnie Sablan also requesting urgent attention be given to Senate Joint Resolution 22-01, which would request governor Ralph DLG Torres instruct the representative of the Planning and Development Advisory Council to “immediately deliver a report” on casino projects to the legislature.

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