FIJI POLICE MUST EXPLAIN INJURIES TO ‘PLOT’ SUSPECTS

Editorial

Fiji Times,

SUVA. Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 4) – Any attempt or any plot to assassinate any leader of any country is a major concern.

It is a crime that should not be tolerated.

Coups aside, any attempt on Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama's life or plot to kill the interim PM-/army commander or any other is unacceptable.

This newspaper condemns it. In fact, the whole nation condemns it.

The best of the Fiji Police Force and the RFMF are working on the case.

According to the Police Commissioner, Esala Teleni, they have intelligence reports that point to a plot being hatched to kill the Commodore.

So far, they have identified 14 targets who they suspect have information or were involved in the assassination plot.

Over the next few days, more people will be arrested and questioned. Offices and homes will be raided and property likely to be impounded.

Yet while that investigation is underway, the police and the military must remember that suspects have rights too under the Constitution.

They have the right to legal representation. They have the right to be released after 48 hours in custody or be charged for the crime.

They also have the right to be treated in a humane way. They have the right to be treated with dignity.

Everybody is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The military should know this as it has been espousing this since several soldiers became suspects in the murder of teenager Sakiusa Rabaka.

The military and police also need to show proof of the involvement of those named in the plot to kill Cmdr Bainimarama and not make wide-sweeping allegations, accusing all and sundry of being in it when later this might be prove not to be the case.

Mr Teleni needs to front up with evidence to prove that those neighbouring governments, lurking nations and NGOs were part of the plan.

And since no weapons were involved, Mr Teleni needs to show proof of the threat the suspects posed to the interim PM and how they intended to carry out the plan without weapons. Mr Teleni owes the people of Fiji an explanation.

Finally, Mr Teleni must know that violence is not the answer.

As a credible Police Commissioner, he should instigate a thorough investigation into how Ballu Khan suffered broken ribs and bones while in police and military custody.

He should ensure that whoever is responsible is charged along with those others involved in the plot to kill Commodore Bainimarama.

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