10 Mar 2004

Fiji police officer escapes from court

9:24 am on 10 March 2004

A Fiji police officer who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for indecent assault has escaped from custody.

The Fiji Times reports that Corporal Remesio Waqanavanua escaped from the court room before the magistrate could approve a committal warrant for him to be jailed.

The complainant, a female telephone operator at the Central Police Station in Suva, is quoted as saying she is afraid for her safety.

She says since she filed the complainant things have been very difficult for her and the case managed to reach managed to reach the court system only with the help of the Fiji Human Rights Commission.

Police have been issued orders to locate and arrest him.

Meanwhile, another police officer under investigation for the theft of 12-thousand US dollars worth of jewelry and cash from the Central Police Station which was recovered stolen property and meant to be produced in court as evidence.