Local court urged to speed up

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By Mike Puia

LOCAL court in Malaita has been urged to speed-up with its cases.

A landowner from East Fataleka, who asked that his name be withheld because of the sensitivity around their pending case, made this call yesterday.

He said in 2017 the Auki local court failed to hold sittings for the 11 cases it listed for hearing.

The landowner said 2017 has gone by and there is still no hearing held.

He said the first quarter of the year is coming to an end but still there is no sitting over the 2017 cases.

He said they get no assurance from their local court in Auki of any date being fixed.

He said they are frustrated that the delay is affecting their plans and programs.

He confirmed the last time local court hearing was held in the Fataleka region was in 2016.

“We want cases to be cleared. Dragging these cases is not helpful to the peace in our communities,” the East Fataleka landowner said.

He claimed local courts appeared to be very quick to deal with cases on government owned land while land cases of indigenous are treated as secondary.

“The government sometimes feel the pain when its land is tampered with. We as landowners also feel the same pain yet the law only care to deal with government land. The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs must be fair to us,” the landowner said.

He added as a result cases lodged by locals sit in the local court shelves for years.

According to the landowners interviewed they won their case in the council of chiefs’ court.

Their case was appealed in the Auki local court and to date the case has not been heard.

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