The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011
By SAMUEL RAITANO
A COURT interpreter who failed to turn up for a hearing about two years ago was sentenced to six months jail with hard labour by the National Court yesterday for contempt.
The decision by Justice Mark Sevua at Waigani followed Ronald Otios failure to attend court for his interpreting duties in Court on Nov 6, 2008.
The judgment was passed yesterday, two years after the accused had been found guilty on Nov 10, 2008, as being guilty of contempt of court for neglecting his duty.
Otio was absent as an interpreter on a murder trial, causing the court to adjourn, which was seen as interference with court processes.
According to the court decision, Otio had failed to inform his superior of his ‘absence’ in order to rearrange a replacement, causing inconveniences and unfairness to the trial of a murder suspect who needed translation of the proceedings in Motu.
Otio’s penalty of six months imprisonment with hard labour was, however, suspended by the court on the grounds that the contemnor expressed remorse, was a first time offender and had paid cash bail of K500 as ordered by the court in 2008.
Otio has been permanently suspended from his duties and placed under good behaviour bond for two years, commencing yesterday.