By Vasinatta Yama, EM TV – Port Moresby
There are currently 5,200 outstanding bench warrants that need to be executed by police.
Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, said that these outstanding bench warrants add about a 60 per cent workload to the pending criminal cases of the National and Supreme Court.
However, National Capital District and Central Commander, Sylvester Kalaut, says that the courts also need to increase bail amounts to hold guarantors liable.
Kalaut commented that even though the courts have the power to grant bail on defendants, they must also put in place measures, especially on the conditions of bail for the guarantors, so that they must also be responsible.
However, he said bench warrants are easy to grant, but it is difficult to re-arrest suspects.
He said they are bombarded with new cases every day, and they won’t commit resources again on suspects who have been previously arrested, and have been refused police bail.
Kalaut further explained that’since the suspects have been granted a court bail, it is now time the court increased bail on the affidavit of guarantors to at least K20,000, so that they will ensure the defendant attends their court case.
He said currently guarantors get away with somewhere between a K500 to K1,500 bail guarantee.
Meanwhile, Sir Salamo said the judiciary is in discussion with the Royal PNG Constabulary to improve the execution of bench warrants.
A bench warrant is an arrest warrant that is ordered by a judge against the defendant in a criminal case or similar proceeding, upon his or her failure to appear in court more than once.