28 Jul 2004

Fiji police calls for statute of limitations change

7:44 am on 28 July 2004

Fiji's police commissioner is calling on the authorities to review the statute of limitations for the treason charge.

Andrew Hughes has told Radio Legend that the two years allowed by law to charge people with treason is not sufficient because police need time to gather evidence.

Mr Hughes says they have experienced this problem with the May 2000 coup because two years imposes a very limited time frame to compete investigations and initiate prosecution.

Mr Hughes says the police will soon face tough decisions because they know that they can no longer charge people with treason if they were involved in the Speight coup because the two-year period has lapsed.

He says he is having to ask how much police resources should put into investigating what is now a historical offence, even though it was significant, when there is increasing demand to tackle fraud, corruption and similar crime.

Mr Hughes says they aren't closing any files yet but they are coming to a time when they need to make that decision.