The absence of the lawyer of a suspended police officer accused of accepting bribe from a bus driver to escape breaking a traffic rule has delayed a trial that was supposed to commence yesterday.
The trial was scheduled to start on Monday in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.
It was however further adjourned to yesterday because the lawyer representing the accused Nelson Isogeto did not turn up in court.
Appearing in court yesterday, Public Prosecutor Elizabeth Tito informed the court that Public Solicitor’s Lawyer Michael Holara is still not available.
She said he was not at his office on Monday and yesterday.
When asked by Principal Magistrate Ricky Iomea as to whether his lawyer talked with him, Isogeto said he did contact him on Monday after the matter was adjourned.
“He told me to contact him this morning.
“I contacted him this morning but his mobile phone was offline,” Mr Isogeto said.
Holara’s colleague Jenny Namo who was present in court has no instructions from him and could not help assist the court of his whereabouts.
Ms Tito raised her concerns regarding prosecutions’ witnesses whom she said are all ready for the trial.
Mr Iomea asked Ms Namo if any other PSO lawyers can take up the matter as it is a simple case.
Ms Namo asked for an adjournment to today to give her time to contact Holara and also to check if another lawyer can take up the case in the event Holara is not available.
The matter was therefore adjourned to today for the trial.
Mr Iomea told Ms Namo to locate the accused’s lawyer to appear today and in the event he was not located, the matter is to be re-allocated to another lawyer from the PSO.
Isogeto was charged with one count of accepting bribe under section 194 of the Police Act.
Prosecution alleged the bus driver and the conductor gave Isogeto $200 after being spotted with red rear light of the bus not working at a refilling station in Honiara in 2015.
It was alleged that having been given $200, the accused did not press charges against this bus driver and conductor.
Isogeto however denied the allegation.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN