9 Jul 2007

Fiji military expects closer police links under new commissioner

1:54 pm on 9 July 2007

The Fiji military says it expects to work more closely with the police following the appointment of a top military officer, Captain Esala Teleni, as the new Police Commissioner.

Captain Teleni was appointed the Police Commissioner last month, and has reportedly said his number one priority is to discharge or terminate some officers, and make changes that will be similar to the way the military executes its duties and roles.

The military spokesperson, Major Neumi Leweni, says the military will work with the police when its assistance is requested while the police will still maintain its independence.

"You must understand it's not the first time that this has happened. It did happen before when Colonel Savua went across from the military to the police force and became the police commissioner, so it's nothing new. It's really not good to speculate and say the police is now not independent. Captain Teleni has just moved across like Colonel Savua did go across and the police maintained its independency. So we should not say that they're not independent."

Major Leweni says since the public emergency regulation has been uplifted, the police are now at the forefront of dealing with law and order.