12 Nov 2002

Fiji judge offers 25 % discount on sentencing to criminals who plead guilty

10:32 am on 12 November 2002

A Fiji High Court judge is offering discounts in sentencing to criminals who plead guilty and save the court's time.

The Fiji Times says Justice Kishore Govind has told lawyers that up to 25 per cent discount would be offered apart from mitigating factors which would also be taken into account when passing sentence.

Justice Govind says the 45 criminal cases and 30 appeals pending before the current session of the Lautoka High Court, some of which date back to 1997, need immediate clearing.

He says this is a very unsatisfactory situation as suspects, lawyers and complainants have to wait for a long time, with delays bringing disrepute upon the judiciary.

Justce Govind has told lawyers to liase with one another and reduce the number of witnesses who were not significant for the trials and speed up the cases.