THE High Court in Labasa has ordered a man charged with one count of arson to seek assistance from the Legal Aid Commission to represent him in his trial.
Judge Justice Daniel Goundar told Ravinesh Deo, 30, that he had committed a very serious offence, advising the accused to seek legal help.
Deo was serving his term on extra-mural at the Korowiri Mandir in Labasa and was expected to complete it next Monday when he committed the alleged arson.
He was serving a five-year term for assaulting a police officer.
Deo's lawyer who lived in Nadi failed to show up to represent him in court yesterday.
The accused allegedly set fire to the Westpac Banking Corporation office in Labasa last month.
"It's important that the counsel is available in court to represent you, and be informed that hiring a private lawyer is an expensive exercise," Justice Goundar told the accused.
"You will have to pay for his fare, accommodation and food and I am not sure whether your financial background can cater for all this or not.
"It's important at this stage to look for other options like the Legal Aid for their help."
Justice Goundar said Legal Aid was a good option for Deo because its service was free of charge.
Deo was further remanded in custody and his case will be called in court next week for mention.