Attorney General seeks Court Order
The Office of the Attorney General has asked the Supreme Court for an interim order on who should prosecute the Director of the National Prosecution Office, Mauga Precious Chang.
Suspended and facing charges of negligent driving causing injury and dangerous driving, the application from the Office of the Attorney General filed yesterday follows an interesting twist last week where two senior lawyers turned up as prosecutors in the District Court.
One was former Attorney General, Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu and the other was New Zealand-based lawyer, Satiu Simativa Perese.
The decision was then made to refer the matter to the Supreme Court.
With Justice Lesatele Rapi Va’ai presiding, lawyer, Helene Wallwork-Lamb appeared on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office yesterday.
Muriel Lui appeared on behalf of the National Prosecution Office.
Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu was also present.
Mrs. Wallwork-Lamb told the Court she had filed an application for an interim order on who would prosecute and she had already served both counsels.
She added she was ready to proceed but she had not heard from the other counsels.
Taulapapa confirmed she had received the application. However, she said there was no returning date on the file and she did not expect the matter to be heard yesterday.
Ms. Lui on the other hand informed the Court she needs two weeks to file a response.
Mrs. Wallwork-Lamb had no objections. She, however, reminded that the matter must be determined soon as it would directly affect criminal proceedings against Mauga in the District Court.
She said it is important for both counsels to file a response quickly because the District Court is set to resume on Friday.
She added the issue before the Court is the ability of the Public Prosecutor to delegate the prosecutor’s powers to any person outside of the office.
Justice Lesatele told Taulapapa and Ms. Lui to file their responses in relation to the application by 29 September 2016.