Temo stands by transfer decision

Simione Rasova (right) with lawyer Pita Suguturaga outside the High Court on Friday, June 9. Picture: IAN CHUTE

Acting Chief Justice Salesi Temo says his reasons for transferring former Social Democratic Liberal Party MP Simione Rasova’s matter by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption back to the Magistrate’s Court yesterday was based on the jurisdictional demarcation of the Magistrate’s and High Courts to maintain and manage the hearing of criminal cases under the Crimes Act 2009.

Justice Temo said in his view, the facts of the case did not call for the disturbance of this jurisdictional demarcation.

He said he was confident the magistrate’s were more than qualified to hear the matter.

Justice Temo also said the High Court was overloaded as it was with serious cases that were still pending.

“In our Suva High Court case management meeting in February, judge A had 68 cases pending before him, judge B had 72 cases pending, judge C had 91 cases pending, judge D had 81 cases pending, and judge E had 87 cases pending,” he said.

“The above cases included murders, attempted murders, act with intent to cause grievous harm, manslaughter, rape, serious sexual assaults, aggravated robberies, aggravated burglaries and other serious offences.”

He said flooding the judges with summary cases, that could be heard by the Magistrate’s Court, would be counter productive to the pursuit of justice.

Justice Temo ordered Mr Rasova’s matter be called before the Chief Magistrate next Friday, to decide on a magistrate to hear the matter which should be disposed of by June 15 next year.

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