12 Oct 2005

Fiji police commissioner wins major court victory

4:22 pm on 12 October 2005

Fiji's police commissioner has won a major court victory which has confirmed his powers to terminate or demote any officer of the force.

Radio Legend reports that in a landmark ruling, High Court judge Justice Roger Coventry has ruled that the Disciplined Service Commission does not have the powers to overturn the decisions of the police commissioner.

Justice Coventry ruled that the DSC acted unlawfully in conducting mitigation and hearing submissions from two officers who had been disciplined and reinstating them to their positions.

Commissioner Andrew Hughes had demoted Sergeant Marika Nasegai to corporal after he was found guilty of releasing rebels from the Central Police Station in Suva during the coup.

Corporal Viliame Jitoko was sacked after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of being absent from work without leave.

Justice Coventry said the Disciplined Service Commission is not a review body and its only function to concur or not to concur with the decisions made by the police commissioner.