AC woes plague court, cases adjourned

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There was no court sitting in the All Saints district yesterday as the authorities have not yet repaired a malfunctioning air conditioning unit from which water has been leaking for some time now.
The staff was advised that the unit would be repaired in time for court to resume today, a source said. The situation was so dire on Monday, the clerk of the court had to move from the area assigned for such staff, to sit on the platform area set aside for the magistrate whose desk is positioned to face the courtroom.
Witnesses who observed the leaking unit on Monday, told OBSERVER media the water was flooding the corner of the courtroom.
Despite the leaking and heat in court since the AC was not working, Magistrate Ngaio Emanuel tried to push through all the cases that were on the docket on Monday – including the trial of political hopeful George Wehner.
Sources told OBSERVER media that as a result of the regular leaking from the AC unit, the courtroom is also infested with mosquitoes and the air sometimes has a slightly bad odour.
“Sometimes cases have to be stood down and the court orderlies (police officers) have to mop the floor due to the leaking AC unit,” one source said.
Some of the individuals who attended court on Monday in support of Wehner, lamented on OBSERVER radio’s Snakepit programme that night that they always have to wait a long time before court commences and cases are called.
OBSERVER media made enquiries about the reports yesterday and learned that this has nothing to do with the AC unit.
Staff said it is because all cases that are assigned to the All Saints Court have to be first filed at the St John’s Magistrates’ Court and this is usually done on the same morning of the sitting. This means that the staff at All Saints cannot commence work until those at St John’s do their part and police officers are thereafter given the case files and charges to take to the All Saints Court. Then, those also have to be filed in that court before the magistrate goes on the bench, a source explained.
“It is an administrative procedure we have to follow, it isn’t a situation where the magistrate is late and she has people waiting at the court,” the source said.

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