Concerns over pending cases

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The High Court of Solomon Islands.
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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

OUSTANDING files at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that have been pending investigations for over 10 months is concerning.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Andrew Kelesi expressed this in the High Court yesterday.

Assistant Crime Manager for Henderson Police Senior Sergeant Saxon Sai revealed in court when he was summoned to appear before the Chief Justice.

Sai was summoned to explain why officers at Henderson are not serving the summon on the case of Peter Kukiti.

He blamed lack of vehicle for the delay and revealed some files are lying in the office for almost 10 months.

Kelesi said the statement by the officer is concerning because victims and complainants have been waiting to see justice take its course.

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” Kelesi said.

 He said section 10 of the constitution clearly mentioned this and police need to look at this issue and assess carefully how best they deal with the problems they have.

“I believe RSIPF executive will address this issue,” Kelesi said.

Meanwhile, Public Solicitor lawyer Stanley Aupai expressed similar concerns.

He said those pending cases does not involve any accused currently remanded at Rove, otherwise they will be remanded forever given the issue of no vehicle to assist the CID officers to carry-out their duties.

However Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer said the courts and legal sector are concerned of high number of remandees in the prisons.

“I already highlighted in one of my speeches.

“This is not a good picture.

“We have the highest number of remandees in our prisons in the region.

“Having understood the problem, the courts have also tried to address the problem aggressively.

“There is no short cut to the issue or dealing with trials and addressing the high number of remandees.

“The courts have to sit to trials and since my remarks earlier on this year, we have consistently tried to increase the number of trials and circuits as well to the districts centres, and in one sense we have been successful.

“And what we have faced in this case is one of those challenges because court cannot do it alone; it requires the cooperation from the legal sector, prosecution, defence and the police,” Sir Albert said.

He also said if the cases did not proceed in time further delays will be experienced and longer the person being remanded behind bars.

 “Therefore, the concern is for every stakeholder to proactively work together to ensure that trials proceed on time.”


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