12 Nov 2015

Fears that Fiji soldiers won't be held to account

3:57 pm on 12 November 2015

A youth leader in Fiji is concerned that cases against military soldiers and police could be shelved after the resignation of Police Commissioner, Ben Groenewald.

fiji flag at parliament

Photo: RNZI/ Sally Round

The South African, who took up the job in May last year, has been replaced by Fiji's land force commander Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho.

Peter Waqavonovono understands Mr Groenewald's resignation is to do with interference of the military in the work of the judiciary and police in cases that involve soldiers accused of torture and rape.

Mr Waqavonovono says people are worried there'll be a repeat of what happened after Australian Andrew Hughes was sacked by the military in 2006.

"The last time a police commissioner was asked to leave, the cases were actually dropped and these were cases against the current prime minister Frank Bainimarama on his alleged involvement during the 2000 mutiny."

Peter Waqavonovono says there's unease over the appointment of Mr Qiliho as the acting police commissioner, given he's said the military will stand by the accused men.

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Photo: AFP