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Officials deny ‘war crimes’ investigation


Tribune-Herald Staff Writer

Hawaii County police deny that they are investigating five local judges for “war crimes,” as an Oahu attorney asserted in a media release sent to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald on Tuesday.

Attorney Dexter K. Kaiama of Kailua said three Third Circuit Court judges and two Third Circuit Court judges “are formally under criminal investigation by the Criminal Investigation Section of the Hawaii County Police Department.”

Kaiama said the judges are under investigation “for their alleged role in war crimes by denying defendants a fair and regular trial in foreclosure and ejectment proceedings at the court housed in Hilo and Kona.” War crimes are felonies under federal law according to the 1996 War Crimes Act, Kaiama said.

Assistant Police Chief Marshall Kanehailua said Tuesday, however, that the department received information about the alleged crimes and forwarded the material to the FBI without investigation. “We are not investigating judges on the Big Island,” Kanehailua said. “If the FBI wants to investigate, fine. We have nothing to do with that.”

The charges are rooted in Hawaiian sovereignty claims that date back to the alleged illegal overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani in 1898 and the alleged illegal occupation of Hawaii by the United States government ever since.

Kaiama also said plaintiffs who initiated claims for foreclosure against homeowners, including banks, mortgage companies and their attorneys, are also “under investigation for war crimes,” but it was unclear who is investigating.

Kaiama did not return a voice message requesting comment on the Police Department’s denial of the investigation.

The media release said the investigations will be routed to the United States Pacific Command at Camp Smith in Honolulu for further investigation “because it is the federal agency responsible under the War Crimes Act.”

“War crime complaints were also filed with the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague Netherlands,” Kaiama said. “The ICC is the court of last resort and will only prosecute if the Pacific Command attempts to shield the alleged perpetrators and/or refuses to do an independent investigation in the pursuit of justice.”

Third Circuit Court Administrator Lester Oshiro said Tuesday that he’s unaware of any formal complaints against the judges. “I have no comment to make,” he said.

Judges named in the release were Circuit Court judges Ronald Ibarra, Greg K. Nakamura and Glenn S. Hara, and District Court judges Harry P. Freitas and Joseph Florendo.

A “press conference” regarding the allegations is scheduled today at the home of Kale Gumapac in Hawaiian Paradise Park, according to the release. Gumapac, owner of Laulima Title, forwarded the press release to the Tribune-Herald. Gumapac’s company researches property titles and attempts to stop foreclosure proceedings against his clients by finding “defects” in titles resulting from sovereignty-related claims. Gumapac claims every title recorded since 1898 is defective.

Email Hunter Bishop at hbishop@hawaiitribune-herald.com.


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