Court slow to make decision

National, Normal


THE relatives of two suspects, who have been held for more than six years at the Baisu jail, are planning a peaceful protest to the Mt Hagen courthouse if their cases were not decided soon.
The two brothers Palaus and John Namb – from Nembilyer in the Western Highlands, have been charged with extortion, break and enter and threatening labourers.
Palaus is a driver with a transport company in the Highlands while John is a teacher and they were charged after protesting over a coffee plantation in their village in the Nembilyer district.
Relative and community leader Wama Aris told The National that Palaus was arrested in 2004 while his brother John was arrested in 2006.
The National ran a story on the two remandees on Tuesday saying that they had waited for three years without any decision since appearing before the court in 2007.
Correctional officers at the Baisu jail said that it was rare for a case to wait for a decision for three years.
Mr Aris said Palaus waited three years in custody before first appearing before the court, and he had waited another three years for a final decision.
He said several letters were sent to the court registry over the delay but no response had been received.
Mr Aris said if the court did not make a decision quickly, his community would staged a sit-in protest at the courthouse to highlight their plight.