A LAWYER’S request to vacate the trial against a juvenile facing a defilement charge yesterday has disappointed the presiding magistrate.
Principal Magistrate Jim Seuika said this is very unprofessional.
“I’m not happy with the defence counsel as he was present in all the mentions and when the trial date was set.
“This is not a good excuse.”
He said if the defence counsel is going on leave, he should have sorted out this issue in preparation for the trial a month before he goes on leave.
Public Solicitor’s lawyer Lazarus Waroka, who appeared on instructions of his colleague Stanley Aupai, who represents the juvenile, said Mr Aupai is on leave.
He said Mr Aupai therefore asked if the trial could be vacated.
Mr Seuika however, said he will not vacate the trial but adjourned the matter to today for the trial.
“I want to see any lawyer from the Public Solicitor’s Office to appear and assist the court on this matter,” Mr Seuika said.
“The priority of lawyers is to their case.
“If no lawyer turns up, the court will proceed with the trial without a legal representation.”
Mr Seuika said it is sad that he made statements on the bench criticising lawyers but it is the only chance he can make a statement against the lawyers.
He said it is the lawyer’s duty to assist the court.
The accused was also asked by the court to go to the Public Solicitor’s Office to see his lawyer.
In the event his lawyer was not at the office, he was asked to see any other lawyers in that office to represent him in court.
Mr Seuika said it is for fair justice that he allow the adjournment to today.
The juvenile was accused of having sexual intercourse with an 11 year-old girl last year at Guadalcanal Plain Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL), East of Honiara.
He is co-accused with another juvenile whom is currently under a warrant of arrest.
The juveniles aged 14 and 15, from Temotu and Western provinces are facing one count each of defilement.
The alleged victim went to visit her aunt at GPPOL when the incident occurred.
Prosecution alleged the juveniles led the girl to the bush and allegedly committed the offence.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN