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Forced Confessions A Waste: Ligairi

Assistant Police Commissioner Isikeli Ligairi says that in hindsight, forced confessions by Police officers is a waste of resources. APC Ligairi said the over reliance on confessions by Police officers
11 Dec 2016 11:00
Forced Confessions A Waste: Ligairi
From left: EU Ambassador Andrew Jacobs, Consultant- The Association for the Prevention of Torture, Australia, Rebecca Minty, Assistant Police Commissioner Isikeli Ligairi and Chief Justice Anthony Gates during the Attorney-General’s Conference at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa, Natadola, yesterday. Photo: Arishma Devi-Narayan

Assistant Police Commissioner Isikeli Ligairi says that in hindsight, forced confessions by Police officers is a waste of resources.

APC Ligairi said the over reliance on confessions by Police officers and their zeal to get confessions from suspects was the major factor behind induced confessions.

APC Ligairi was speaking at the Attorney-General’s Conference yesterday at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa, Natadola.

APC Ligairi said in instances where confessions were forced by Police officers, victims of crimes were on the losing end when perpetrators walk free because courts find that their confessions had been forced.

But he acknowledged that steps were being taken and their data showed that in light of recent workshops on first hour interviews and video interviews had shown that complaints of forced confessions have dropped drastically.

The European Union and the British High Commission have funded a series of workshops to up-skill Police officers and bring them up to date with ways of interrogation.

APC Ligairi shared some statistics on complaints against Police officer alleging confessions of suspects had been forced.

60 complaints had been made till September this year.

However, since the workshops on first hour interviews and with the pilot project whereby Legal Aid lawyers first talk to suspects who are arrested at Totogo Station before they are interviewed by Police officers, only two complaints against officers have been made.

Legal Aid and Fiji Police Force have embarked on a pilot project whereby all those arrested at Totogo Police Station in Suva first meet with a Legal Aid lawyer who will talk to them about their rights, before they are caution interviewed by Police.

APC Ligairi also spoke about wrongful imprisonment and he felt that Police officers needed to be taken to be held accountable for failing to properly investigate crimes.

He gave the example where two men served four years in jail after being wrongfully convicted of murder.

 

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj


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