D.P.P ACCUSED OF BIAS, REPLIED IT ACTED PROFESSIONALLY

Court mallet. Photo credit: SIBC.

Court mallet. Photo credit: SIBC.

A complainant in a criminal case related to a land dispute has accused Office of the Director of Public Prosecution of being biased.

Ataban Tahu is a complainant against three accused including a private lawyer, Wilson Rano in a forgery case that is related to a land dispute issue in Marovo, Western Province.

The case was referred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions but was returned to police investigators because of a lack of evidence.

The Office later withdraws the charges against the accused’s’ citing a lack of evidence.

But Mr Tahu says the Police Prosecution and the CID Officer-in-charge of the case had assured him there is sufficient evidence to establish the forgery case when they met earlier this month.

Mr Tahu adds he was also assured that only a court of law should decide whether or not evidence is sufficient.

He described the situation as “distressful” and accused the Director of Public Prosecution of applying the justice system in a biased manner.

He adds he feels like there are two sets of laws – one for the ordinary Solomon Islanders and the other for those favourable to the Director of Public Prosecution.

In his response, the Director of Public Prosecutions says his office exercised the utmost professional conduct to withdraw forgery charges against the lawyer and his two clients.

Ronald Talasasa told SIBC News the recommendation to withdraw the charges because of a lack of sufficient evidence came from a Principal legal officer and a DPP advisor.

“They made a recommendation on what they’ve seen in the file and that recommendation has landed on my desk to be decided on before sending it back to the police. That recommendation points out that there is no sufficient evidence for the police to lay charges.”

The Director of Public Prosecutions adds the recommendation was returned to the Deputy Director for his endorsement and was sent back to the Police.

“I reallocated or refer the file to my acting deputy┬áDirector of Public Prosecutions and his Advisor and I specifically asked them both to deal with the opinion that has now been forwarded from the principal legal officer and his advisor. From there I left the matter.”

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