15 May 2015

Fiji police unsure where confusion over permits lies

2:05 pm on 15 May 2015

Fiji police say they do not know who got the law wrong when it came to issuing permits for opposition meetings.

The SODELPA Party was poised to defy a requirement for permits to meet with its constituents, considering it as its basic right to freedom of movement and assembly.

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Photo: RNZ

The solicitor general had earlier advised police that under the Public Order Act SODELPA was required to apply for a permit seven days in advance.

However, the Assistant Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu says police granted the permits on the day of SODELPA's first meeting.

Mr Tudravu says there was a simple misinterpretation of the Act but he is not sure by whom.

"I cannot say. They have their own interpretation according to their lawyer. We had our interpretation based on our advice which is definitely from the Solicitor-General. That is where, but we have managed to do that. They have applied for the permit and we have granted them the permit."

Mr Tudravu says all public meetings need to have permits although SODELPA says the government has been holding its without a permit.

Police would not comment on whether it was necessary for the government to get a permit.