Sevua apologises for incomplete cases

National, Normal

The National- Tuesday, January 18, 2011


RETIRED judge Mark Sevua last Thursday apologised to the lawyers and litigants involved in 40 court cases that he leaves incomplete as a result of  leaving the judiciary.

Sevua said he had been about to finalise his decision on the hearing of the fate of the completed report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Finance Department when he was discontinued from holding his office as a judge by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission. 

He officially left office on Jan 6.

Sevua told media personnel late last Thursday that in addition to the Finance Inquiry, he had outstanding a further 39 rulings and decisions. 

Among them was the other high profile case of former chief secretary Isaac Lupari who questioned the validity of his dismissal from office.

Lupari’s lawyers had flown to Alotau where Justice Bernard Sakora granted leave for judicial review in Alotau and the application for judicial review came before Sevua who said last Thursday that he heard the substantive matter and had then reserved his decision to a later date.

He had been about to hand that decision down when he was terminated from serving as a judge resulting from the Judicial and Legal Service decision last Sept 28 not approving his request for extension by five years .

Sevua expressed his regrets over the matters now having been returned to the court registry.

He said: “So I have left quite a number of cases – about 40 cases (incomplete). And I will say this, I am very sorry to the litigants and the lawyers for this to happen. 

“I think I have to say that on record, I am very sorry that these cases have had to be returned to the registry, for other judges to rehear and deal with them. 

 “Last week (two weeks ago) I had my staff return all those files and a list of those files to the registrar and, you know, I am very sorry, that those people have waited so long and they did not get any judgements done on those cases.

“I hope they will be given priority.”