DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Ronald Bei Talasasa says he was dismayed by comments Justice Stephen Pallaras raised about his regular overseas travels.
“The comments by the judge were not only erroneous, but unfounded, provocative and threatening,” Mr Talasasa said in a statement from Fiji, where he’s attending a conference.
“I will not comment any further but to take this matter further to the court of justice,” he added.
“I will spend whatever I have, even if it is my life time savings, to sue the maker of these statements. “Why not ask the office in my absence to know what foundation was being laid to accommodate my absences.
“Why not ask the office for details of cases that were interrupted due to my absence?
“Why not ask the Prime Minister’s Office to know that my leave were not leave without approval or leave without justifications?
“I am prepared to give my all to put right for the records all that has been erroneously stated and blown out of proportions,” he said in the statement.
Speaking at the four-day workshop on Family Violence and Youth Justice that opened in Honiara on Tuesday, Justice Pallaras said Mr Talasasa’s regular and frequent absences for sporting tours or conferences, is both disruptive to the whole community and ruinous of attempts to expedite criminal trials.
He was sharing his views from the Bench on the operations of the justice system here.
“Not only are cases interrupted mid-way through to accommodate his travelling diary – which by the way keeps everyone else waiting, including the accused persons, witnesses, lawyers and the rest of the community who are waiting for their trials to start.
“What is worse is no prosecutorial decisions of any consequence can be made until he re-enters the jurisdiction.
“This is because his prosecutors are not trusted with the delegated authority to make those decisions, so every other case, even those which the director is not personally involved in, has to wait.
“We all just put our pens and have a nap.”
But Mr Talasasa it seems Justice Pallaras held ill-feelings towards him.
“Why would this person harbour ill feelings against me?
“Since when did he start embarking on a battle to eliminate me or take revenge on me? Is it because I did not bow down to any instruction to enter a nolle of a case and proceeded with the matter, instead?
“Why engaging in politics when should only restrain oneself to commenting on appropriate and relevant matters?”
Mr Talasasa said the powers of the DPP are well entrenched in the Constitution and unlike the powers of DPPs in the various States in Australia, the Constitution of Solomon Islands spell out very
clearly how the DPP operates and exercises his powers
“It is erroneous for someone else to dictate to the Constitutional establishment of this country how it should operate.
“Do not interfere with my country’s institutional mechanisms,” he said.