NA highlights court, prosecutor shortcomings

Published on July 18, 2013

The NA members call the People’s Supreme Court and Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor to address the justice system to renew public trust in the two bodies

National Assembly members have told the People’s Supreme Court and Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor to address numerous issues in the justice system to renew public trust in the two bodies. Assembly members made the call on Tuesday the 16th of July during debates on the two bodies’ work during 2012-2013 and plans for the next year at the ongoing fifth ordinary NA session.

Members praised reports showing the number of cases heard by the courts has dropped 6.6 percent from 8,229 to 7,720 compared to the same period last year, and improvements have been made in trials, the collection and analysis of information and evidence, and encouragement of the parties to cooperate with the courts. However, NA members also spoke of a loss of control of the courts in checking evidence, leading to parties taking advantage of one another.

Member for Xieng Khuang province, Madam Bounpheng Mounphosay said, In several cases, one party was harmed in a court case because the other had money to pay the concerned authorities, village leaders for example, for creating documents as evidence

Madam Bounpheng Mounphosay also discussed a perceived unfairness in the trust placed by higher courts in the decisions of the court of first instance. She said, not all judgments of the court of first instance are fair, therefore absolute trust in the decision often harms disadvantaged people.

Member for Vientiane, Colonel Dr Somvang Thammasith, praised the attempts of the prosecutor in solving cases relating to more than 10,000 prisoners over the past year.

However, he called on the Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor to strictly enforce close coordination with police from the start of criminal investigations in order to avoid temporary arrest based only on suspicion.

According to Dr Somvang, 1,150 cases – about 26 percent of total cases to the court of first instance last year – were sent back to investigators due to incomplete components required to settle the case.

He said that number was too high and showed the weakness of prosecutors in working with investigation bodies on cases from the start, while also reflecting a loss of investigation principles and measures by police, especially in the collection, evaluation and use of evidence.

Dr Somvang proposed the Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor be stricter in inspecting prisoners to ensure their living conditions met basic human.

Source: LNTV Lao News in English