13 November 2011

Suai District Court continues to operate "mobile court" in the districts



East Timor Legal News 13/11/2011 Source: JSMP  Press Release 31 October 2011 -  On Wednesday 20 October 2011, the Suai District Court continued its mobile service to try an ordinary case in the District of Maliana.  The aforementioned case was registered as No. 57/TDS/2011 involving light maltreatment against a spouse.

The aforementioned crime was allegedly committed by the defendant JLS against the victim AB. The incident allegedly occurred in Maliana District on 7 March 2011. The hearing was convened to hear testimony from the defendant and victim.

The trial was presided over by single judge Florençia Freitas, and the Public Prosecution Service was represented by António Tavares da Silva, and the defendant was represented by public defender Calisto Tout.

The Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira, stated that the initiative of the Suai District Court to operate a mobile court is an extremely positive step because it is a concrete response to difficulties faced by the parties who due to the prevailing circumstances are unable to travel to court on their own.

We believe that until such time as the courts can function effectively in all districts across the entire territory, mobile courts are an alternative mechanism that is extremely productive to bring justice to the public and to encourage the public to use the formal justice sector as a more effective means of resolving conflict occurring within the community.

Based on JSMP monitoring conducted in October 2011, in addition to operating the mobile court in Maliana, the Suai District Court also operated a mobile court in Ainaro District from 4th – 7th October 2011. 10 cases were heard in Ainaro, which comprised 2 cases of domestic violence, 1 cases of aggravated murder, 1 case of aggravated theft, 1 case of sexual assault, 1 case of robbery accompanied by violence, 1 case of misuse of trust, 2 cases of serious maltreatment, and 1 case of light maltreatment.

Based on JSMP monitoring of the case of light maltreatment that was heard in Maliana, the defendant exercised his right to remain silent during the trial in accordance with Article 60 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

After hearing statements from the defendant and victim, the trial continued with the reading out of the final recommendation of sentence.

Based on the evidence presented during the hearing the public prosecutor concluded that the defendant was guilty of committing light maltreatment in the form of slapping and punching the victim in the right eye, and well as kicking the victim twice on the backside and grabbing the victim on the mouth.

Based on the aforementioned facts the public prosecutor recommended for the court to sentence the defendant to 3 years imprisonment without suspending the sentence. In addition, a recommendation was made for the defendant to provide maintenance for his children totaling US$150 per month.

The final recommendation of sentence was made pursuant to Article 145 of the Penal Code and Article 35 of Law No. 7/2010 (Law Against Domestic Violence).

JSMP hopes that the steps taken by the Suai District Court can reduce the backlog of cases in the aforementioned jurisdiction and at the same time can increase public trust towards the justice sector.

A decision in the aforementioned case will be announced on 27 October 2011 at 2.30pm.

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