NEWS

Complaint Against Groenwald Dismissed

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, has concluded that there is no substance to the complaint by Tevita Ralulu that the Police Commissioner, Major-General Bernadus Groenwald, had interfered with
16 Oct 2015 14:53
Complaint Against Groenwald Dismissed
Police Commissioner, Major-General Bernadus Groenwald

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, has concluded that there is no substance to the complaint by Tevita Ralulu that the Police Commissioner, Major-General Bernadus Groenwald, had interfered with investigations into an incident involving a South African diplomat or that he had attempted to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.

Mr Pryde said, “The Police Commissioner is empowered under the Constitution to control and direct the operations of the Police Force.

“The Police Commissioner therefore was well within his constitutional powers and the law to direct his officers to release the South African suspect from custody since the suspect was entitled to diplomatic immunity under Article 29 of the Vienna Convention as reflected in Fiji’s Diplomatic and Privileges Act 1971.

“Furthermore, Article 29 of the Vienna Convention does not restrict immunity to only minor crimes as alleged in the complaint but applies to any criminal offence without restriction.

“Finally, it is clear that the Police Commissioner acted appropriately and professionally in the circumstances and there is no evidence whatsoever of any criminal wrongdoing. Accordingly, there will be no further action in this matter.”

In relation to the traffic accident, Mr Pryde said, “A decision on what charges, if any, will be made in relation to the traffic accident after Police have completed their investigations.”

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