Lawyers must be reminded that their foremost duty is to the court, their clients and the public, says a Honiara Magistrate.
Principal Magistrate Fatima has vented her frustration after the lawyer of a man facing a rape case failed to appear in court on Monday.
She said, the only thing stopping this case to move forward is the defense counsel.
“A one week adjournment was given from the last occasion.
“That is sufficient time for the defense to obtain instructions for the plea.”
She said, if the lawyer has done his work, the case would have proceeded.
The court heard that disclosures on this case were also served to the defense counsel more than a month ago.
Prosecution has already withdrawn the charge of incest and are proceeding on with the rape charge against the 65-year-old father.
The matter was adjourned from the last occasion to yesterday for a plea to be entered and for the defense to indication to the court on the type of preliminary inquiry to be conducted on the case.
The lawyer representing the accused however did not turn up in court.
Ms Taeburi then reminded lawyers that their foremost duty is to the court, their clients and to the public.
She said, the accused has been remanded in custody since June and his lawyer did not take that seriously.
She then adjourned the matter to this Thursday.
This is for the accused to take his plea and for the defense to confirm the type of preliminary inquiry to be conducted don the case.
Ms Taeburi said, if the lawyer representing the accused did not appear, another lawyer from the Public Solicitor’s Office must appear in court.
The Temotu father was accused of raping his 15-year-old in April this year in a plantation in East Guadalcanal.
The maximum penalty of rape is life imprisonment while that of incest is seven years imprisonment.
Michael Holara of Public Solicitor’s Office represents the father while Public Prosecutor Olivia Ratu is representing the State.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN