Prosecutions director looks to God as he reaches retirement

Ronald Bei Talasasa Junior in his office in Honiara

He is a very active figure in Solomon Islands football, a committed Sunday school teacher and the Director for the Office of Public Prosecutions for the past ten years.

Ronald Bei Talasasa Junior recently announced he will retire in two years’ time from the office.

In an interview with SIBC News this week, he reflected back on the past years he served as the director.

“A great challenge that remains within the country’s judicial system is the delay of administration to deal with cases,” he said.

Mr Talasasa said handling cases and disposing of cases before the courts was very slow.

He said this had denied justice for some Solomon Islanders.

“The cases wait for them to be concluded,” he said.

“Sometimes the witnesses, the victims die, they are no longer available.

“Especially the sexual offences cases, the victims maybe the time a crime is committed on them at a very early age.

“After some years they have become adults, some of them become married and they don’t want anything more to be done on what happened to them previously.”

Mr Talasasa noted however, that a positive trend recently emerged as more recent law graduates are expressing interest in becoming public prosecutors.

He said this was a positive outlook.

“Unlike in the past there were not many,” he said.

“In my time in the 1990s, or even before that i heard that not many have an interest in prosecution. But this time, a lot of these lawyers graduate, have completed their PDLP and they expressed their interest.

“They would like to be part of the office and they would like to work as a prosecutor.”

Mr Talasasa said a number of experienced lawyers have left their jobs in the public prosecutions office to work with government departments.

He said the government should improve pay and service conditions for lawyers to keep them as public prosecutors.

“There must be ways for accommodating them, continue to retain them.

“Because that seniority is so important, it’s so crucial, it’s so important to the legal offices.

“And one great challenge is to give them better pay, better package, better terms and conditions of service in order to retain them so their skills, their experience, is long lasting and stay within the offices of the public service.”

Another highlight during his term Mr Talasasa discussed was the total independence of his office from any political interference.

“I am very proud to say that the Office of the Public Prosecution since I have been in office, has always been independent. I can refer to facts or explain further to show that.”

“Solomon Islands is blessed with a political leadership both in Government and Opposition that understands the role of the DPP, the work of the DPP and the position of the DPP within the justice system.”

Mr Talasasa would like to continue working in the justice sector for some more years, possibly doing some defence work.

But he already knew where his journey would end.

“Later on I want to become an evangelist. To work for the Church. I leave that in the hands of God to decide.”

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