HIGH COURT QUASHED CHALLENGE BY LOCAL LAWYER

The High Court of Solomon Islands. Photo credit: SIBC.

The High Court of Solomon Islands. Photo credit: SIBC.

The High Court has quashed a challenge by local lawyer Wilson Rano against a Search Warrant issued and executed by Police on Mr Rano’s law firm in 2014.

The search was conducted prior to the laying of charges against Rano and a client Rodney Hiva in 2014, which were subsequently withdrawn and the two were acquitted in 2015.

Police at that time acted on an allegation that Mr Hiva and Rano fabricated and forged documents for Mr Hiva’s appeal in the Local Court of Western province.

In his challenge before the High Court, Mr Rano questioned whether the search warrant executed by Police was validly issued and whether the offence allegedly committed is an offence known in law.

Justice Rex Foukona says the execution of the search warrant on a Law office is valid, and not breach of solicitor and client confidentiality.

Justice Foukona declined relief for compensation and damages, because he says the actions taken by the Police are exempted under section nine of the constitution.

Meanwhile the judge says the police and their advisors lack a working knowledge of the Local Court Act and its requirement in lodging Form 1, in appeals against the decision of the chiefs tribunal.

He says the police should be taught about the process and procedure for such appeals under this Act, to avoid a mishap in the future.

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