Criminal cases high in ENB

National

A HIGH number of criminal cases in East New Britain went through court this year, Justice Salatiel Lenalia said in Kokopo last week.
He said more than 200 cases were dealt with over the last 11 months.
He told a court-user forum at Vunapope that most of the cases also had bench warrants issued.
He said it was a big challenge for police, especially the arresting officers.
“You need to build your network, you must know the community leaders,” Lenalia said.
“You must know who to contact when going after an offender to serve a bench warrant.
“Bench warrants are usually left outstanding for a long time.”
Lenalia said sometimes offenders had reasons not to appear in court but often they take advantage of how weak the system is and escape bench warrants.
Lenalia said according to the law, a court trial of an offender must be done within four months.
“Who do we blame – the court, office of the public prosecutor or solicitor, police or community leaders?”

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