Anti-Corruption Workshop For Regional Prosecutors, Law Enforcement Convenes

Challenges faced in investigating, prosecuting corruption in Pacific addressed

By Kalesi Mele

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 14, 2017) – Investigators, prosecutors and law enforcement officials from across the South Pacific region convened in Nadi yesterday to discuss challenges encountered when investigating and prosecuting corruption in the Pacific.

The three-day meeting is organised by the United Nation's Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) and is designed to enhance Pacific countries' capabilities to investigate and prosecute corruption.

Globally, corruption is considered one of the most difficult crimes to investigate and prosecute.

It can involve just two satisfied parties, and nobody with any incentive to reveal the truth.

While bringing in international best practices, the training will consider specific challenges that small Pacific States are facing.

Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption state counsel, Sanjana Datt said one of the challenges in Fiji was witnesses failing to come forward.

Niue Police Sergeant Ramona Jackson said criminal investigations often led to prosecuting family members.

A representative from the Solomon Islands Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Bradley Dalipanda said the workshop would help investigators.

UNDP anti-corruption specialist Mihaela Stojkoska said participants of the training would also learn about proper investigation plans, analysis of evidence and questioning of potential targets.

The sessions are designed to be practical and interactive, and the participants will work together on problems based on real investigations," she said.

The training is the result of several specific requests from Pacific countries and it ends today.

Fiji Times Online.
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