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‘It was Not Approved’

Henry Brown, the senior Police officer under investigation, had gone overseas without approval, it was revealed yesterday. Unaware that Mr Brown had left the country, the Acting Commissioner of Police,
22 Jan 2016 13:14
‘It was Not Approved’
Henry Brown

Henry Brown, the senior Police officer under investigation, had gone overseas without approval, it was revealed yesterday.

Unaware that Mr Brown had left the country, the Acting Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho, said: “Mr Brown sent an email to me three days after he arrived in that country asking for my permission and I gave the permission. He again asked for his leave to be extended and I also approved this.”

Mr Brown has now sent his resignation from the Force. He said he resigned under duress.

But Brigadier-General Qiliho said at a press conference yesterday that he had only been aware of the former Assistant Commissioner of

Police and Chief of Intelligence and Investigations being on local leave.

“On his leave issue, we have an internal policy that guides me to make a fair decision whether or not send officers on interdiction after being charged for any criminal offence or suspend or send on leave from duty with full pay during the initial stages of the investigations of serious allegation,” he said.

Mr Brown’s whereabouts overseas was unknown to the Police. But according to a Facebook post by Mr Brown’s daughter, Chantal Selina Brown, he is currently in New South Wales, Australia.

Efforts to contact Mr Brown were unsuccessful.

He was due back at work on Wednesday, January 20. However, Brigadier-General Qiliho confirmed receiving Mr Brown’s resignation letter on the same day.

The acting Commissioner reiterated at the press conference that the investigation and case concerning Mr Brown will remain open.

Mr Brown also made claims that he was denied natural justice.

Brigadier-General Qiliho clarified that they had completed the first phase of their investigation.

He said after consultations with the Office of the Director Public Prosecution (ODPP) for a neutral legal opinion they had identified sufficient evidence, which would have resulted in having ACP Brown interviewed under caution.

“Since the initial phase of the investigation has been completed, we had two options to choose from – I will appoint an officer senior in rank to interview him under caution; or forward the investigation files to FICAC to complete.”

Mr Brown also claimed that he had tendered in his resignation under duress. But Brigadier-General Qiliho replied: “This is an allegation that he must prove.”

More importantly, he said the decision to send him on leave was to ensure that justice was ensured.

Keeping him at work as the head of investigations unit would be an obstacle and challenges taking into account the office he held and his responsibilities.

“The fact remains that ACP Brown was sent on leave with full pay so as to allow the investigations to be conducted thoroughly and fairly,” he said.

Mr Brown also raised an issue of junior officers investigating senior officers. The acting Commissioner said: “He should understand very well that through the hierarchy of CID; he is the senior officer holding the top position and that is one of the main reasons that I have politely asked him to take is leave.”

He has assured Mr Brown that the investigations were conducted under his close supervision during the entire process.

Now the decision whether to lay any charges will be made from the Office of DPP after the investigation is completed. But if the file is submitted to FICAC then the decision will be up to the Deputy Commissioner FICAC.

Brigadier-General Qiliho did not release the nature of the allegations made against Mr Brown.

 

Edited by Naisa Koroi
Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj



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