Cop Suspended, Driver Charged

The police officer captured in the viral video has been suspended, pending an investigation, Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho confirmed.
18 May 2022 14:41
 Cop Suspended, Driver Charged
The bus driver involved in the incident, Elvin Ritesh Mani, 30, (pictured left) appeared at the Labasa Magistrates Court yesterday charged with one count of giving false information to a public servant. He was represented by Ami Kohili (pictured right). . photo: Shratika Naidu

A Labasa based Police officer who was captured on video allegedly using excessive force against a bus driver has been suspended pending investigations.

The Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho directed the suspension.

“Based on initial findings of an investigation conducted by the In­ternal Affairs Unit regarding the officer’s alleged conduct, the Police officer has been sent on leave await­ing the outcome of the investiga­tions. Further comments will be issued once the internal investiga­tion is completed.”

Meanwhile, the bus driver in­volved in the incident appeared at the Labasa Magistrates Court charged with one count of giving false information to a public serv­ant.

Elvin Ritesh Mani, 30, appeared before Magistrate Senileba Levaci at the Magistrates Court in Labasa.

The particulars of the offense read out in court stated that that on May 16, Mani identified himself as “Paul” knowing it to be false to a police officer while the officer was executing his duty.

Mani’s lawyer Ami Kohli in­formed the court that a wrong per­son is standing before the court stating it should be a police officer who allegedly assaulted his client.

Mr Kohli said a video went viral after the alleged incident at Labasa bus stand and many people includ­ing some bus passengers were pre­sent in court to give witness imme­diately.

He also informed that court that he was going to file a case against the officer and adding that he hoped “this will not be swept under the carpet.”

Magistrate Levaci released the ac­cused on bail without a bail bond and surety which was not objected by police prosecutor Constable Vishal Verma.

She told the accused to abide by all bail conditions.

The case has been adjourned for mention to July 25.

Meanwhile, when Mr Mani went to Labasa Police Station to collect his materials including statement and medical report around 4:30pm the same police officer dressed in uniform issued a Traffic Infringe­ment Notice (TIN), obstructing public street.

According to the Fiji Police Force statement issued around midday yesterday, the officer was suspend­ed and sent on leave.



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