THE Public Solicitor’s Office (PSO) has been requested to give explanations as to why its lawyers have not visited and provide legal representation to remandees at the Rove Correctional Centre.
Principal Magistrate Jim Seuika made the request on Wednesday when presiding over criminal cases in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.
This was after two accused facing separate cases told the court that no lawyer has visited them in custody despite them sending requests to the PSO.
However, no lawyer from the PSO was present when Magistrate Seuika raised this issue in court.
“It appears that most of the remandees have sought legal representation but have not received any,” he said.
“It is the right of the remandee under the constitution to be legally represented,” Magistrate Seuika said.
He said PSO is the stakeholder responsible in a situation like this and it is their duty to see an accused person in custody.
He added that it has now become a common practice that the PSO lawyers never perform their duties.
Magistrate Seuika adjourned those two cases to April 16 where he ordered that a lawyer must appear and explain why most remandees have no legal representation.
He then told the accused to try their best with the correction service welfare unit to get a lawyer for him.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN