Court dismisses a constitutional redress application

Court dismisses a constitutional redress application

Wednesday 20/11/2013
The High Court has dismissed a constitutional redress application by a police officer charged with abuse of office.

Meli Sateki brought an application in the High Court claiming the constitutional immunity provision under section 157 of the 2013 Constitution applied to him as a police officer and sought orders that the charge against him be quashed. 

Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, appearing for the State, submitted that the application was fundamentally flawed since the application should have been brought in the civil jurisdiction of the High Court. 

Pryde also argued that any dispute as to charges or evidence or interpretations of law were matters that should properly be handled by the Magistrates Court in the normal course of the criminal proceedings. 

While dismissing the application by the police officer, Judge Paul Madigan said the application was abusive.

The application was brought on behalf of Meli Sateki by his lawyer, Aca Rayawa.

According to section 157 of the 2013 constitution, absolute and unconditional immunity is irrevocably granted to the President, Prime Minister and cabinet ministers, Republic of Fiji Military Forces, the Fiji Police Force, Fiji Corrections Service, judiciary, public service and any public office from any criminal prosecution and from any civil or other liability in any court, tribunal or commission. 

The immunity is granted to any person listed whether in their official, personal or individual capacity.
It covers the period between 5th December 2006 to the first sitting of parliament elected under the 2013 constitution.

However it is clearly stated that the people listed for immunity are not immune from prosecution if they commit certain offences under the Crimes Decree.   

The offences not covered under immunity in the 2013 constitution include corruption, abuse of office, forgery and sexual offences.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Lami residents raise concerns on clinker ship that is emitting dust
Lami residents raise concerns about the dust being emitted by two cement manufacturing companies during their operations and when they transport ...
21 hours ago

Health Ministry continues to trace, screen and test all contacts of current COVID-19 cases in Fiji
Contact tracing continues for the potential super spreader event which is a funeral at Peceliema Church in Tavakubu. Mon 19th Apr Tue 20th ...
22 hours ago

COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Fiji
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says he is getting vaccinated because it is what we all must do to defeat this pandemic once and for ...
22 hours ago
89 new COVID cases, expect number of cases to rise however there is some optimism as severe cases are low
Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong has confirmed that there are 89 new cases of COVID-19, and he is confident that case numbers will ri...
14 hours ago
Spain and Sweden finish their Euro 2020 match nil-all
Spain and Sweden have finished their first UEFA Euro 2020 match scoreless this morning. The Spanish side had the vast majority of possession and ...
2 hours ago

Naulu Health Centre temporarily closed for decontamination
The Naulu Health Centre is closed today to allow for the disinfecting team to decontaminate the health facility. The Health Ministry says medical ...
2 hours ago

COVID-19 vaccination campaign starts in Lami today
The COVID-19 vaccination campaign starts in Lami today. Health Ministry teams will be at Tikaram Park in Lami from 9 o'clock this morning. They ...
3 hours ago

Some people were released from CWM Hospital after 4 days of quarantine and had to be called back to serve full quarantine
Health Ministry's Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong reveals there were difficulties in the initial part of their operation at the CWM Hospital ...
13 hours ago

We must not let the number of COVID cases surpass the capacity of health services to cater for sick people- Dr Tudravu
The Health Ministry's Chief Medical Advisor Doctor Jemesa Tudravu says we must not let the number of COVID cases surpass the capacity of health ...
13 hours ago