BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
CHIEF Magistrate Emma Garo has lashed out at statements by the Director of Public Prosecution published in the media recently.
This is in relation to the comments made in court by Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi in a case in which two police officers were acquitted of charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
She said in her statement that the DPP Ronald Bei Talasasa is perfectly aware that such issues can be sorted out internally.
“If the DPP has concerns over her comments, then he is perfectly aware that such issues can be raised with either myself or the Chief Justice, or alternatively he can make a formal referral to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission through the Registrar of the High Court.
“What is totally unacceptable is to bypass all the official and transparent complaints procedures (which would allow considered deliberations on the issues and provide the Magistrate with a right to respond) in order to lambast a Magistrate’s conduct and accuse her of “inexperience” and “ignorance” through the media,” Ms Garo said
Garo said that the Magistrate’s Court takes great exception to these comments which are unwarranted, unfounded, and inappropriate and way out of line.
“Madame Taeburi is an experienced and accomplished Magistrate who strives to manage her cases appropriately.
“I wish to point out that it is the duty of all Magistrates to take control of the management and handling of cases that come before them, in order to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays and ensure the best use of court time. In this regard, if a magistrate has concerns about the conduct of any party or their counsel it is perfectly appropriate to voice those concerns in the court room.
“Everyone must be aware what is expected of them, and that the Magistrate’s Courts in this country will no longer tolerate unnecessary adjournment, delays and the avoidable waste of its time,” Garo said.
She also said that she will not discuss the precise details of the case and Taeburi’s judgment, but says that Taeburi was fully justified in raising her genuine concerns in court.