NATION | NEWS

Qiliho Takes On Pryde

Mr Qiliho said that in order to ensure confidence of ordinary Fijians, in particular women are not undermined following the decision of Mr Pryde, he was revealing details of the allegations.
10 Nov 2022 12:42
Qiliho Takes On Pryde
From left: Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde and Commissioner of Police Brigadier- General Sitiveni Qiliho. Photo: Ronald Kumar

In an unprecedented move, Commissioner of Police Brigadier- General Sitiveni Qiliho yesterday revealed previously unknown details of allegations against National Federation Party leader, Biman Prasad.

Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde had instructed the Fiji Police Force not to lay charge against Mr Prasad, in a matter of allegations relating to insulting the modesty of a person.

Mr Qiliho said that in order to ensure confidence of ordinary Fijians, in particular women are not undermined following the decision of Mr Pryde, he was revealing details of the allegations.

 

The Commissioner of Police was particularly concerned that Mr Pryde sought representations from Mr Prasad’s lawyers on the matter and that he chose not to extend the same offer to the complainant, Ari Taniguchi.

He also raised concerns that in other cases, lawyers of ordinary Fijians had not been given the opportunity to present their case before the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“I am very concerned that this decision of the DPP can undermine the confidence by the ordinary members of the public, in particular women who are generally the victims of sexual impropriety.

 

“There is a lot of irregularity in processes followed before the DPP reached his decision. We read in his public statement, which was also sent out to all of you that he had sought representations by the lawyers of Prof Prasad before coming to his conclusion.

“I note with grave concern that the same courtesy of hearing from Mrs Ari Taniguchi was not extended to her.

“I also note with even more concern that an ordinary Rajesh or Pauliasi would not be given this opportunity by the DPP to have their lawyers make representations directly to him. Prof Prasad was given this opportunity.

“In the case of every other Fijian, lawyers make their case before the Court but here we see a deviation.”

 

He said that in this case, the matter was not allowed to reach the judicial process and “it would appear that despite evidence given by the complainant and corroborative evidence given by a witness, the DPP is trying to usurp the powers of the court.”

“Why was it different in this matter concerning Prof Prasad? We are of the view that the DPP’s decision stemmed from looking at this matter and the personality involved to a political prism and not in the best interest of the victim or the public.

“Given that we can no longer proceed with the matter as the DPP in his wisdom has decided not to proceed with it, we will today highlight in this media conference as to what allegedly transpired in this matter. We do so because we wanted the public to have confidence that the police force will do its utmost to help the victims of sexual impropriety.”

Read Mr Qiliho’s statement, also on this page.

 

Response from the Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde: 

When called yesterday, Mr Pryde said: “You can listen to the Commissioner of Police’s statement and cannot follow protocol? Call Farisha Ahmed (ODPP Media Liaison Officer) and get comments from her.”

Questions were emailed to Ms Ahmed yesterday. No response came when this edition went to press.

Fiji Sun called Mr Prasad twice seeking his comments on the allegations shared by Commissioner Qiliho. He engaged our calls both times.

Questions were then sent to him via text message and email as well. No response was received when this edition went to press.

 

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj 



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