The National- Thursday, February 10, 2011
By SAMUEL RAITANO
MOBILE phones can be handy to users, but in places like courtrooms, it is better to avoid embarrassment and possible arrest for contempt by switching them off even if important calls are expected.
This was the message by Justice Ambeng Kandakasi in a court room at Waigani National Court after blasting a man for disturbing a court hearing when his phone rang loudly distracting everyone in court.
The court hearing was brought to a standstill when Kandakasi ordered the phone’s owner to the front to be lectured.
The man, who appeared to be in his late 60s, was then asked by the judge if he knew English and if he had read the notice on the door of the court room advising everyone to switch off their mobile phones before entering the court room.
The man replied that he was illiterate and did not know English and that he had forgotten to switch the phone off.
Kandakasi then allowed the phone to be returned by the court attendant who had confiscated it and issued a general warning to all in the court room never to leave their phones on while in his court room.
The penalty for having a phone ringing in the court room would be confiscation or possible arrest for contempt of court if offenders did not give up their phones to the court attendants.