12 Jun 2007

PNG judge angered at state lawyers' court absence

5:59 pm on 12 June 2007

A judge in Papua New Guinea says the standard of professionalism of many state lawyers is deteriorating and they must be charged over their conduct.

The judge, Mark Sevua, has charged three senior state lawyers with contempt of court for failing to be at a scheduled court hearing, and therefore failing to prosecute an alleged armed robber.

Judge Sevua says this sort of behaviour is happening too often.

"The reason they give is money, not getting their funds in time to organise circuits. And that is a pathetic excuse. That is the same excuse that has been given over and over every year. They can't come and argue that same silly excuse 'we didn't get our funds in time', or 'we have no money for lawyers to travel'. That is not what I want to hear."

Judge Mark Sevua says he hopes he will set an example by charging the lawyers.