THE court has again refused a second bail application made for the man accused of obtaining $10,000 from Solomon Islands National University (SINU) students under false pretence.
Magistrate Ishmael Kekou in refusing the bail application also made direction to ensure that the accused Junior Wane sees a doctor as soon as possible and a medical report produced to the court.
“The officer in charge of medical/health unit Rove Central Correctional Services (RCCS) through the commandant, RCCS to ensure that the applicant (Wane) has a medical check up by a medical practitioner within 14 days from today,” Mr Kekou ruled.
Lawyer representing Wane is applying for bail on medical ground.
This is to allow Wane to be released from custody to see a medical doctor because he is sick.
Public Solicitor’s lawyer Lazarus Waroka also raised an issue of unlawful detention where he argued that his client was unlawfully detained from 17 May to 22 May 2019.
He said law as per section 23 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) clearly stated that any person apprehended by police without warrant must be, as soon as practicable, not more than 24 hours be taken to court for Court (magistrate) order for lawful custody.
He argued that the police never did that to follow the law, until five days they arrested Wane and took him to court for custodial order, only to breach the law.
“That is unlawful detention for five days.”
Prosecution on the other hand is strongly opposing bail arguing the accused is not seriously ill.
Police Prosecutor Henry Oneone said he unless he sees a medical report from a qualified doctor that Wane is seriously ill and needs to be seen by a doctor then he will consider bail application.
Prosecution however did not make any response in relation to the issue of unlawful detention.
Mr Kekou said in such cases under the Constitution and CPC, normally unlawful detention would fall under the civil jurisdiction for damages than for bail.
“This Court is subjected to the bounds of law and thereby accords its decision accordingly,
“Thus, the ground of unlawful detention for bail must be refused,” Mr Kekou said.
In light of the medical ground, Mr Kekou said a brief medical report was prepared by the inspector/registered nurse on July 9, containing Wane’s complaint of ulcer or similar illness.
“Medical facility for the inmates and remandees is manned by a nurse with sufficient supplies of drugs and other things for treatment.
“Where there is a case of serious illness doctors from the hospital can be requested to attend to the remandee.
“For worst cases, inmates or remandees can be admitted at the hospital for periods necessary for treatment,” Mr Kekou said in his ruling.
He said in this case, there is no medical report from a medical practitioner to fully explain to the court the extent of illness.
Mr Kekou said Wane appears normal having observed him in court but that does not necessarily mean he is not ill.
“What the court needs is a medical report that examines the full extent of the illness and recommendations on whether the current cell conditions are alright for the applicant.
“….or whether the illness of the applicant (Wane) requires that the applicant must be resided at home to easily follow up with medical checkups and treatments.
“Further there must also be reports from the Correctional Facility that they cannot assist the applicant with regular check up with a doctor for checkups or treatment,” he said.
Mr Kekou added that in this case, he can only construe Wane’s condition from a brief report.
“This court will intervene to have the applicant to be checked by a doctor.
“An illness may appear not dangerous today but when it is too late, it can be fatal.
“If a medical report requires bail, the court will grant bail as the need be,” he further added.
Wane’s first bail application last month was refused by another magistrate who said he had doubts Wane will observe bail conditions if he is released on bail.
An investigator had informed court at that time that police had a total of 39 registered files against Wane which were lodged by 39 SINU students, of which, 34 are yet to be laid.
Police alleged that Wane falsely pretended to some of the SINU students that he has privileges at the National Training Unit (NTU).
In one of the offences, he allegedly claimed to be a lawyer and his father is an employee of NTU who had privileges to enroll students for government scholarships and sponsorship.
It is alleged that by these false pretences, he obtained $2,000 from each of the five students.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN