27 Mar 2009

Marshall Islands Chief Justice angered by treatment of some prisoners

5:34 pm on 27 March 2009

The Marshall Islands Chief Justice has criticised police and the government¹s justice system for holding a prisoner in jail for over a year without benefit of a court hearing.

At a hearing Wednesday in what otherwise would have been a routine assault case from an outer island, Chief Justice Carl Ingram discovered that Bai Lanej had been held in Majuro jail for 13 months without a court hearing.

The case involving Lanej comes just a month after the Chief Justice criticised the Ministry of Justice for holding a prisoner a month beyond his sentence release date without being brought to the court for review.

A report by the U.S. State Department¹s Human Rights last month said prison conditions in Majuro did not meet international standards, with inadequate lighting, ventilation and sanitation for prisoners, and no separate facilities for juveniles and women.