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Caution Interview For Offences Under CCD2010

This week the Commission attempts to explain key issues and requirements when conducting a caution interview for offences under CCD2010. The content of this article is for information and guidance
04 Apr 2016 09:58
Caution Interview For Offences Under CCD2010
Fiji Commerce Commission

This week the Commission attempts to explain key issues and requirements when conducting a caution interview for offences under CCD2010. The content of this article is for information and guidance purpose only and in no way should be construed as legal advice from the Commission.

 

 What is a caution interview?

An interview under caution is an interview conducted by the officer(s) of the Commission with a potential defendant, respondent or witnesses where the investigator is seeking information for Commission to decide what happened and what to do next.

An interview under caution may provide:

Important evidence which would otherwise be difficult  to obtain;

Important information revealing further lines of inquiry;

Relevant information to be considered in the prosecution decision

 

Whom does the Commission formally interview?

  1. a) Individuals

Where it appears to the investigator that an individual has contravened the Decree, that individual should be formally interviewed. This includes a natural person who is in trade or landlords.

  1. b) Body Corporations

The directors, managers, agents or employees who is authorized to speak on behalf of the company can be formally interviewed.

 

Why does the Commission ask you to attend an interview under caution?

The Commission requests a person to attend an interview under caution because we believe that there are grounds to suspect that that person has committed an offence under the CCD2010.

This does not mean that we believe that the person being interviewed is guilty and will be prosecuted. It means that the evidence we have obtained so far suggests that person may have committed an offence.

The interview gives the person being interviewed the opportunity to provide an explanation of the events that have happened.

However, if we find any evidence during the interview that that the person has committed an offence, prosecution is likely.

Being invited by the Commission for an interview doesn’t necessarily mean you have done anything wrong or that they’re about to take you to court.

 

Do you have to attend an interview if requested?

No, but if you do not attend it will not prevent the Commission from taking further action, such as prosecuting you in the Courts.

 

Whom can you bring with you to the interview?

Anyone who is not connected to the investigation can come to the interview such as a friend, a social worker, or a relative.

If the person being interviewed has a severe hearing impairment or English is not his/her first language (and the person has difficulty in understanding and answering in English), the Commission will conduct the interview in a language that the person is able to understand and answer questions and provide a translator. There is no charge for this. The Commission will make appropriate arrangements to account for any other impairment or condition that affects the right of the person being interviewed.

You can have a solicitor or legal advisor with you.

 

Arranging for the interview

The Commission usually notifies the person to be interviewed in writing/via notice of the day and time of interview and of the allegation against that person/body corporation.

 

Who will conduct the interview?

One or two officers from the Commission will usually interview you.

r Sometimes the Commission carries out joint investigations with other agencies, such as the Police. If there has been a joint investigation in a case, the person may be interviewed by an officer from the Commission and an officer from the other agency. If this happens, the person will be advised regarding that at the interview.

 

Where will the interview be conducted?

At the Fiji Commerce Commission Office as specified in the letter or notice sent to the person to be interviewed.

At any other agencies office as specified in the letter/notice sent to the person to be interviewed.

 

What happens at the interview?

As soon the person to be interviewed enters the interview room, the investigators will meet the guide him/her to the appropriate sitting arrangement.

In case of tape/video recording of the interview, the tapes/CD/other storage devices will be unsealed from their packaging in front of the person being interviewed and will be placed into recording device. The recording device will then be switched on and will start to record the interview.

Before any questions are asked the officer(s) of the Commission or any other agency, the officer(s) will explain some things to the person being interviewed , including:

That the interview is being tape recorded;

Anything you do or say may be given in as evidence.

You will be cautioned and advised of your rights (that you are not under arrest, you have the right to remain silent or not to answers any questions and that you may seek legal advice at any time)

Why you have been asked to attend the interview.

The person to be interviewed will then be asked questions relating to the allegation. The Commission officers do not have to accept the first answer given by the person. They are under a duty to try to establish the truth about what has happened.

Remember that you have the right to remain silent. If you are unsure about anything they ask you, or about what you want to say, don’t be afraid to say ‘no comment’ or explain that you want to get advice before you answer.

At the end of the interview the person will be asked to read and sign off interview record.

If you are asked to sign any kind of statement make sure you fully understand and agree with what is written. Don’t sign anything that you don’t agree with.

 

Can the person interviewed get a copy of the record interview?

Whether or not you have a right to a copy of the tape will depend on the outcome of the Commission’s investigation into your case. The investigators can refuse to let you have a copy if:

They are continuing their investigation and may want to question you again; or

They have decided to take no further action against you because they now realise you have done nothing illegal.

If you are unsure whether you have a right to the records you can ask the officer(s). They then have to tell you if you can have a copy, and if so you should be given information explaining how to get it (this usually involves writing in and asking for it).

 

What happens after the interview?

The records are reviewed to determine the merits of the allegation.

If new information has emerged during the interview, the Commission may need to make further enquiries and consider your case again once these have been completed.

The Commission may also request the person to be interviewed again. If this is the case the Commission will write to the person to advice the person what else needs to be done.

 

What actions can the Commission take after the completion of investigations?

Where the Commission believes that there is no evidence of an offence having been committed, the Commission will write to you and tell you that we will not be taking any formal action against you.

Where the Commission believes that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, it will consider, in accordance with its policy, what further action will be taken.

Bobby Maharaj is the chief executive of the Fiji Commerce Commission. This is a regular column from the Commission in the Fiji Sun.

 

Next Week: Buying a Second Hand Motor Vehicle

For more information/details on price regulation in Fiji, visit website at www.commcomm.gov.fj or join Facebook  page under Fiji Commerce Commission.



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