7 Nov 2006

Fiji police commander says he has no intention of standing down despite army call

7:28 pm on 7 November 2006

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, will not resign as investigations into what police say was the unlawful removal of ammunitions from the Suva Wharf by the Fiji Military on 1 November continue.

The Fiji's military's acting commander at the time, captain Esala Teleni, has said he should step aside amid what it says are disagreements over the military's removal of the consignment.

The ammunition was apparently removed without the proper police authorisation.

But a police statement says given that the call for the commissioner's resignation comes from an officer of a subordinate rank in a fraternal organization, it is not only inappropriate but also disrespectful.

Commissioner Hughes says the investigation is under the assistant commissioner of crime who has set up a special task force to look into it.

Commissioner Hughes will remain independent of the investigative process and says he has every faith that the inquiry will be impartial and fair.

Meanwhile Fiji police have published a letter of support for the commissioner from the chairman of the Pacific Islands chiefs of police organisation.

The letter praises Mr Hughes actions, saying his role in upholding the rule of law and in fairly investigating any apparent ccriminal breaches are exactly what is expected of all of the Chiefs of Police in the Pacific.