18 Aug 2007

Fiji's FICAC has no powers to prosecute criminal cases

10:42 am on 18 August 2007

The High Court has ruled that the newly set-up Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption or FICAC has no powers to prosecute criminal cases.

Justice Gerrard Winter said under the Constitution, which is still intact, only the director of public prosecutions could file information on criminal proceedings in Fiji's courts of law.

As well, he said the DPP could take over prosecutions initiated by other organisations.

Justice Winter gave the ruling as he dismissed High Court proceedings against eight men charged with the murder of a Nadi jeweller last year.

He allowed them out on bail with their case to go back to the magistrate's court.

Justice Winter advised the magistrate who would be handling the case to refer the matter back to the High Court if the Commission Against Corruption insisted on pursuing the prosecution in the lower court.