Magistrate lectures prosecutors

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Tracy Ganaii

WAIGANI Committal Court Magistrate Tracy Ganaii yesterday continued to educate prosecutors and police on their duties after yet another failure by prosecution which forced an adjournment of a case.
She said it was professional negligence when prosecutors failed to leave proper instructions on police files before allowing fellow colleagues to take up matters where they had left.
Magistrate Ganaii was responding to a submission by Police Prosecutor Chief Sgt Koniu Polon seeking adjournment for a defamatory case because there were insufficient instructions left on the police file by the prosecutor in carriage of the matter.
Chief Sgt Polon sought adjournment of a case against Reuben Elijah, charged with defamatory publication, because there were no proper instructions from the other prosecutor who had prosecuted the case while he was on leave.
“Defendants appearing in court with conditions of bail have their movements restricted and they also pay for their lawyers to appear,” Magistrate Ganaii said.
“So when their cases are adjourned for insufficient instruction on police files for the next prosecutor to carry on where one has stopped, it is professional negligence.
“It continues to be your submission that one prosecutor, who is in carriage of the matter, has not given sufficient instructions.
“That’s continues to be your reason for seeking adjournment and that’s not good enough.
“As I always say, you are all (prosecutors) operating from the same office and sufficient instructions should be left on the police files.
“It’s not a personal file so when one is not here, we don’t know what is happening to the statues of the file.
“That should not be happening.”
Magistrate Ganaii adjourned the case to Thursday for the prosecutor to obtain instructions.
In the same court, she struck out a case of two men charged with armed robbery and escaping from custody after police failed to prosecute the matter within the mandatory period.
She discharged Poita Apupu and Patrick Bomile Gonapa of the charges after court was told that the pair had been in custody for almost nine months since they were arrested.
“There is no affidavit evidence from the arresting officer of criminal investigation division so the prosecutor has no instruction on the police file,” Magistrate Ganaii said.


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