Police will not make any comments after DPP’s comments on Pro. Prasad’s case

Police will not make any comments after DPP’s comments on Pro. Prasad’s case

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 01/11/2022

Police will not make any comments after Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde confirmed last week that in the present case regarding Professor Biman Prasad, Police have advised that they will forward the docket to the DPP so that an advice can be provided to them on the appropriate charge to lay, if any.

Pryde said once the docket has been received by the Office of the DPP, the usual procedure will be followed, namely a legal officer will be allocated the file to provide an opinion on the evidence which will then be vetted by a manager before the recommendations are forwarded to the DPP for a decision.

He says in making a decision on the appropriate charge, if any, the DPP will consider any defence representations or other defences that may be available.

He also says that the decision to proceed is based on whether there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest.

The DPP says the Police are not obliged to forward files to the DPP before they lay a charge and are able to investigate and charge a person in exercise of their own discretion.

He says if the Police need advice on a file before they charge they will typically refer the matter to the DPP for advice and decision but, again, this is at their discretion.

However, the DPP has the power to review any charge once it is put before the court.

Pryde says the DPP is empowered to withdraw the charge or amend the charge or take over prosecution of the charge.

Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho said last Wednesday that National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad has been charged with two counts of indecently insulting or annoying a person.

Professor Prasad has been bailed for his first court appearance on 15th November 2022.

Commissioner Qiliho says after having received a complaint, a thorough investigation was conducted and finalised last week.

He says Professor Prasad was brought into CID for questioning in the presence of his legal representative and chose to remain silent.

Qiliho says he was subsequently charged.

The Commissioner says the evidence gathered in this matter is similar to a case involving a high profile member of the community who was recently found guilty in a court of law.

Qiliho says the Fiji Police Force is an independent body vested with the responsibility of conducting investigations following the receipt of complaints and has the powers to lay charges in accordance with the evidence gathered.

Police say they have made the statement and will not be making any further comments.

The NFP says the charges read to Prasad are that contrary to Section 213(1)(a) of the Crimes Act 2009, in that Prasad on the 22nd of July and 12th of August this year at the NFP office, Suva, allegedly hugged Ari Taniguchi and kissed her on the cheek in which he insulted the modesty of Taniguchi.

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