Transport issue forces court to defer sitting


ACCUSED persons on bail and families of remandees at the Bomana prison were frustrated yesterday when they were told that the Waigani committal court wouldn’t sit because police prosecutors were still facing transport issues.
Remandees were not brought to court as the prison van which transported them was in the workshop.
All cases were adjourned at the court registry.
Senior magistrate Danny Wakikura and a court official, who requested anonymity, told The National that police prosecutors hadn’t been to court since Wednesday.
“There have been no prosecutors in the Waigani committal court since last Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and today (yesterday),” they said. “Their reason is they have no vehicle to come to court.
“It’s something that they can organise themselves. We are here to provide court services.
“Even then, we have lawyers and the other side coming, some are brought in from custody and we have to do warrants to remand them. We are concerned about the custody cases as well, as lawyers are coming at an expense.
“We are a criminal court, we expect police to come in and prosecute their cases. Their absence is affecting custody cases and we cannot use that as an excuse.
“They have a Constitutional right for a speedy trial, we cannot just delay that right for reasons as such from the police prosecutors.
“Police prosecutors are just one side of the case and we have the other side who are the defendants, lawyers etc, and so we try to balance that because without them we cannot hear the court cases.
“They have to organise themselves and at least arrange for a vehicle to drop them off for their cases and pick them up after that.”
The office of the National Capital District Met Supt Gideon Ikumu was made aware of the matter by The National last Thursday.
However, several attempts to get comments from Supt Ikumu were unsuccessful.