The Fiji Police Force is concerned about the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions not to lay any charges on the National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad as the Commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho says that it can undermine the confidence of the ordinary member of the public, in particular women and children, who are generally the victims of sexual impropriety, to report such matters.
While speaking during a press conference, Qiliho says they are also concerned about certain irregularities.
He says that he noted with grave concern that the same courtesy of hearing from Ari Taniguchi was not extended to her.
Qiliho adds that Ari Taniguchi has confirmed that no one from the DPP's office contacted her after they handed over the file to the DPP's Office, however, the DPP's office contacted Prasad through his lawyers.
The Police Commissioner says in the recent past such matters have been brought before the courts but no such prior representations have been sought from lawyers of accused persons.
Qiliho says in the case of every other Fijian, lawyers make their case before the court but here they see a deviation.
He says they are of the view that the DPP’s decision deviated from the principle of assessing each case on its merits devoid of personality, social status or politics.
The Commissioner adds given as per the Constitution and the law, they can no longer proceed with the matter since the DPP has the final say in all criminal prosecutions.
In the press conference, Qiliho also laid out the details of their report.
Assuring the people of the Fiji Police Force’s commitment to do its utmost to help the victims of sexual impropriety, Qiliho says they have the legal powers to charge any person for an offence and the power to grant police bail.
Meanwhile, National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad says he is seeking legal advice in the matter where the Police Commissioner has issued a statement following the directive given by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to not lay charges against him.
Prasad says he is unfazed by all this and he is focused on the campaign and the election but in the meantime, his lawyers will look into the statement.
He says he is astounded at the highly unusual statement with bitterness from the Commissioner of Police after the independent constitutional Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has made a decision on this case.
We have sent questions to the DPP’s Office regarding the statement made by the Commissioner.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations