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Christopher T Pryde
Director of Public Prosecutions
I refer to a story published in the Fiji Sun newspaper on May 6, 2012 entitled “Court Orders Lawyers to bring Accused” by Fonua Talei.
There are a number of errors in this article which require correction.
First, the court did not order two state lawyers to produce a home invasion suspect before the court.
The court had directed the police, not the one state lawyer present in court, to continue efforts to locate and arrest the suspect who has absconded while on bail.
Second, the state prosecutor did not at any time tell the court that two previous prosecutors did not know the accused’s whereabouts.
Nor did the court question the state prosecutor as to why they were not informed or say that it is the duty of the State to know the details of the case.
Third, the court did not say that the State was the cause of the problem by not objecting to bail initially.
Finally, the matter was adjourned to 27 July 2012 and not 22 July 2012 as stated in the article.
In addition to these errors of fact, the article provided no background to the matter and, importantly, left out salient points, leaving the reader confused as to what the case was about or why it was being called before the court.
It also left the impression, again, that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has failed in its duty to the court which is false.
To the contrary, the State informed the court of progress in the matter as required and provided the court with the necessary documentation requested of it at the last mention date.
The suspect remains at large and the police have undertaken to use all efforts to apprehend the suspect and bring him before the court at the next court date.
The court thanked the State for the effort put in so far and informed the State it was doing a good job.
The facts of what transpired in the court are at odds with how the matter was reported in the article.