No one above the law’: Fiji Home Affairs Minister

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No matter how high one’s public status is, no one is exempt from the law.

This was reiterated by Fiji’S Minister for Home Affairs Pio Tikoduadua as he spoke about the crucial importance of the separation of powers by law enforcement agencies under his ministry.

“Even though I am the minister responsible, I have a mandate of Government.

The police should only respond to the law. I’ve made that very clear,” he said.

“Particularly, this is important to raise now because there are investigations on people of interest, political interest.

This has a reflection and a tendency to drift on to a security environment, you know, because of the way we were?

“What I want to assure people in the nation is this is an independent process of the police and will be maintained by me.”

“That is very, very important for me, the credibility of the police as an institution.

“Commissioner understands that well because that is my intention and that is the way it is going to be kept. So it is nothing political.”

Complaints were lodged against a number of high-profile individuals, including the former prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama and former attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Tikoduadua said he did not interfere in the investigation process as it was purely under the jurisdiction of the police.
“If someone had lodged a criminal complaint against a person of interest, the police have a responsibility to investigate it. That’s what they are doing.

“I am not part of that process. That is an independent process. So I hope people must understand that because ultimately, as Lord Denning said, irrespective of how high you are, including me, the law is still above you.

“The law is still above you, and that’s what the police must do. Do their job effectively, efficiently and according to the law.”

He said there should not be any exemption, even he as minister. “Unfortunately, this is why this perception is out there. It’s the way it was being dealt with in the past.

“I am a living subject matter for that, strong political influence in the way police did their work, so when these cases are brought up, my expectation is the police will handle it professionally.

“And that’s how it should be. No one is above the law. “Nobody. And that’s how it should be treated,” Tikoduadua said.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS