Behind bars without hearing

National, Normal


IT is a breach of human rights when an offender is kept for more than four months behind bars without appearing in court for a fair hearing.
A lawyer said this yesterday when discussing the case of brothers, John and Paulus Namb, from Nebilyer district, who have been in Baisu jail for more than three years without being sentenced.
The lawyer, who did not want to be named, said that law enforcing agencies breached section 37 (3) (4) of the Constitution where it says, “a person charged with an offence shall be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent court”.
However, this has not come about for the brothers.
The brothers allegedly committed a crime on Feb 14, 2003 and were charged with stealing, threatening labourers at a plantation, armed robbery and break and enter.
It was alleged that after spending more than two years in jail, they had their case heard in 2007 where final submission for their verdict was made.
Baisu jail officers said  it was rare as the duo had to wait for more than a year for the final decision.
The officers said they had never come across such situation in the past.
Meanwhile, the relatives of two remandees told The National in Madang that they were planning to stage a peaceful protest at the Mt Hagen court house if a decision is not made quickly.