29 Nov 2018

12 Fijian police suspended after courthouse escape

4:53 pm on 29 November 2018

A dozen police officers in Fiji have been suspended as the escape of prisoners from the Suva Courthouse is investigated.

Police in Suva following the election

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

The search continues for five prisoners who escaped on Tuesday from a cell block in the court.

The Fiji Times reported Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho saying the 12 officers would be suspended without pay from today in relation to the escapes.

A total of 25 officers are being investigated by the Police Internal Affairs Unit.

Mr Qiliho said officers at the court house failed to follow standard operating procedures for escorting prisoners.

There was also a shortage of officers stationed there at the time of the escape, he said.

A video calling system like Skype could be implemented for prisoners to hear cases to prevent future escapes, the commissioner suggested.