By PERO SIMINJI
A MAGISTRATE has urged lawyers from the Public Solicitors Office to visit remandees in jail because they had the right to fair trials.
Waigani Committal Court Magistrate, John Kaumi said this in the presence of two representative counsels from the Public Solicitors Office who appeared in response to a court summons issued by Kaumi on Monday. Kaumi said Section 37 (3) of the Constitution provided for remandees to be offered a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court.
“The court cannot direct counsels from the PSO (Public Solicitors Office) on how they do their job, but when circumstances allow that court should enquire especially when considering their (remandees) rights to a fair hearing, then it should enquire. “Section 37(3) provides for the rights of persons charged with offences to not only a speedy trial or hearing but also they need to know why these rights are not being accorded to them,” he said.
“And this is the basis for their enquiry this morning.”
Kaumi told the two lawyers who were present in front of the remandees in court to explain about the delay in preparing their (remandees) ‘no case’ submission.
“The remandees need to know why you are not visiting them, especially those whom you have accorded your service and they need to know who is responsible to finalise their court matters,” he said.
“They told the court that they had enough of adjourning their matters, and that is not right in any way you see it, whether lawfully, morally or on a person-to-person basis,” Kaumi said.
He told the counsels that in order to avoid further inconvenience they must speak with the remandees at Bomana prison and attend to their cases or tell them what was necessary for them to know.
Kaumi said lawyers from the office of the Public Solicitors Office should perform their duties faithfully.
By PERO SIMINJI