30 Jan 2007

Former suspended Fiji police officer to head Corruption Investigation Unit

10:38 am on 30 January 2007

A Fiji police officer suspended and demoted by the former commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has been appointed to head the interim administration's Corruption Investigation Unit as part of its clean-up campaign.

Inspector Nasir Ali was sacked as the head of the police team investigating the 13-million US dollar agriculture ministry scam which took place during the term of the deposed Qarase government.

Inspector Ali told the Suva High Court last year that he was removed from his job because he was closing in on Qarase government ministers involved in the scam and senior police were protecting businessmen.

He had written to President Iloilo asking for an inquiry into police corruption and the involvement of some senior officers in the May 2000 coup.

The military commander and interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, has confirmed Inspector Ali's appointment to head the Corruption Investigation Unit assisted by a team of nine officers.

They will be located on the ground floor of the building housing the Prime Minister's Office and will have unlimited powers to investigate corruption involving any government ministry, department or individual.

The Unit will be part of the interim administration's Anti-Corruption Commission which will report directly to the president.