BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
PRINCIPAL Magistrate Augustine Aulanga has acquitted the man due to the police prosecutor’s failure for not filing closing submission on the case against a man facing simple larceny charges.
Magistrate Aulanga said in light of this prosecutorial ignorance and negligence of its case, the court has serious doubts as to whether the prosecution evidences are worthy or are capable of being accepted.
“Because of this serious defect and omission.
“I am not satisfied that the prosecution has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt and therefore,
“I order that Sammy Vaurou is acquitted forthwith of the charges faced”, Magistrate Aulanga said.
This is the case against an accused Sammy Vaurou who has been charged with two counts of simple larceny,
It is alleged that on two occasions between 1st and January 31st January 2010, he went to a light post at Lanalau Island in the Russel Islands and stole two 12 volts solar batteries and a 30watts solar panel. On the first occasion, the prosecution says he stole the two batteries, followed by the solar panel on the last occasion. These properties were owned by the Marine Division of Solomon Islands government and were never recovered until date.
In every criminal trial, the prosecution bears the onus of proving the case beyond reasonable doubt and this continues until the trial ends. This responsibility does not cease or relinquish midway or towards the end of the trial. It rests with the prosecution from the start to the end of the trial, Magistrate Aulanga said.
He said the trial ended on September 28 and the court made an order that closing submission must be filed by the November 2, this is a period of 35 days being given to both parties since the presiding magistrate would be in Auki for 6 weeks for customary land appeal case.
When the matter resumed in November 2018 only the defense had filed its closing submission. Despite the 35 days period the prosecution has yet to file its written submission thus the court had grant another leniency for the prosecution to file its closing submission by close of business of November 8 in light of the ample time already been given.
Unfortunately even to this date there is no written closing submission filed by the prosecution this is in fact a total of 55 days, calculating from 28/09/18 to this date. The prosecution did not even bother to write a letter to explain why it fails or perhaps refuses to file the closing submission.
“Why this was not done raises more questions than answers”, Magistrate Aulanga said.
Even for the prosecutor to appear and do verbal closing submission on the schedule date did not occur, but only sending of another prosecutor to appear without any instruction is what occurred,
“This is very bizarre and unprofessional practice.
Since there is no filing of the closing submission, the court is definitely in complete absence of any assistance from the prosecution whether to accept the entire evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses.
Magistrate Aulanga said in his judgment that the importance of closing submission during criminal trial cannot be overlooked. It is the avenue or last opportunity where each party will convince the court why its case must be preferred and accepted than the opposing party. The failure to do so by a party means it concedes to the other party’s case or argument, or an acceptance of being defeated since its case has no merit.
Therefore Magistrate Aulanga acquits the accused and he made orders that the prosecution has the right to appeal within 14 days.