HONOLULU — Michael Jay Green, one of Hawaii’s most prominent, defense attornies, is enjoying a small victory. District Court Judge Richard Puglisi ruled on Wednesday, in favor of his client, Felina Salinas.
Salinas, who has been charged with cash smuggling, and accessory after the fact no longer has to wear an electronic monitoring device that she has been ordered to have on since being indicted on February 14th.
Green, on an exclusive interview with BA, in his office in Honolulu recently, Green said Salinas has no intention of leaving Hawaii as argued by the federal prosecutors. Her church community here, he told us, is where she spends most of her time.
“She’s just an outstanding woman and an outstanding representative of the church.” 5.22
Salinas, the Hawaii representative of the Philippine-based Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church, led by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, faces federal charges that could send her to prison for up to five years.
On February 13th, Customs and Border Protection officers conducted an inspection at Honolulu Airport, of a private plane leased by Quiboloy.
Salinas, who was with Quiboloy and two other passengers, according to the criminal complaint, was arrested after CBP officers found more than $350,000 and $9,000 Australian in a luggage that belonged to Salinas.
“The portion of whether she knew that there was that money in the luggage, whether she packed the money is a whole different thing that will come out in the trial. she didn’t load the luggage aboard the plane. No, it’s not her money.”
Green says as far as he knows, the money belonged to the church.
“We’re not gonna get into the fact of who’s gonna claim the money. It wasn’t the pastor’s money. But in some point in time when we go to trial, my sense is that someone will come forward and claim that it was their money that they were sending back to the Philippines for church purposes.”
Salinas was also charged with accessory after the fact for helping a person with initials A-Q, according to the indictment, avoid arrest and prosecution.
Quiboloy’s lawyer has insisted that his client was never specifically named in the indictment and that the Davao-based pastor was never a subject in any case in Hawaii.
“We’re filing a motion, it’s called a motion to suppress evidence. we’re saying the government made an illegal search and they had no right to ask her questions at the time they did, they violated certain constitutional rights that she has. That’s what we’re doing.”
If the case goes to trial, the date has been set for April 2nd, 2019.