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Palau President’s Brother Accused Of Beating Up Staff Employee

The director of the Bureau of Marine Resources is facing criminal charges for allegedly beating up a staff employee during work hours on April 18.

Leon Remengesau, the younger brother of President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., pleaded not guilty to six felony charges during his arraignment on Thursday, May 11.

He was charged with assault in the second degree, terroristic threatening in the first degree, misconduct in public office, bribery of witness and two counts of intimidating a witness. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is prosecuting the case.

Remengesau has been released on his own recognizance and was required to turn in his passport.

According to court records, Leon Remengesau “intentionally or knowingly caused bodily injury to Marine Resources employee Jacob Timarong with a dangerous instrument.”

Timarong suffered a swollen arm after being hit by an iron chair and an iron shaft.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Director Remengesau scolded Timarong and his co-workers – Sorens Meyar, Umang Demei and Divan Ongrung – for drinking beers instead of working.

The director allegedly picked up an iron chair and tried to hit Timarong in the face. Timarong raised his arm to block the chair. Remengesau allegedly picked a piece of an iron shaft from an old boat to spear him when he moved away to avoid getting hit.

Remengesau allegedly threatened the employees that they would either get fired or get physically harmed if they report the incidence to the police.

In a statement to the Office of the Special Prosecutor on April 25, BMR employee Carl Haruo said Remengesau summoned him and Timarong outside and warned them that “if any of you speaks to the police or any authority of investigation, I will beat you up.”

Haruo further quoted Remengesau as saying, “I can terminate your employment anytime if you speak to the police about this incident.”

The special prosecutor’s office has been provided pictures of Timarong’s injured arm taken on April 24.

Timarong said Remengesau apologized to him in the morning of April 25, called him to his car and gave him $10.

In the affidavit, Remengesau denied the allegations, claiming no such incidence happened between him and Timarong. He said there had been no report from Timarong and others who were with him at that time didn’t see anything as they ran away when they saw him because they were drinking alcohol.

The employees stated in the affidavit that they were concerned about their safety.

Charlie Matsutaro, another employee on BMR described Remengesau as “unpredictable,” adding that the director has the tendency to intimidate people.

Remengesau said Timarong injured his arm when he ran for rain cover and he slipped with a string lawn trimmer he was carrying came crashing down on his arm.

Remengesau has a previous conviction and served time in jail for drug-related charges.

The alleged incidence came to light when Minister Umiich Sengebau, Leon Remengesau’s superior, notified the Office of Special Prosecutor on April 25 that Carl Haruo, Hanford Kyomasang, Sorens Meyar and Umang Demei were seeking assistance to obtain a restraining order against the bureau director per advice from the members of the Palau Congress.


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