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Court orders trial to conclude within six months

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

THE Lautoka Magistrates Court has been ordered to conclude a burglary case within the next six months.

The case against Sainivalati Navoti and Iowane Naio has been ongoing for five years without any trial date set, prompting the two accused to file a submission in the Lautoka High Court for a permanent stay on proceedings.

They cited unreasonable delay on the prosecution's side.

They said they were prepared to go to trial on four different occasions but the State was not ready.

Submissions from the State revealed that trial dates were vacated because of the fact that one or more accused were not present on previous trial dates.

Justice Sudharshana De Silva said it was clear that although there was a delay of five years, the co-accused had contributed to the delay in most of the instances.

He said a stay in proceedings was an exceptional remedy and would only be considered if other remedies were not available to deal with the justice of the case.

He said the delay in this case was not unreasonable.

Justice De Silva said he did not find merit in the grounds on which the application for a permanent stay was founded.

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