11 Mar 2016

No criminal charges against Fiji's Brown

8:52 am on 11 March 2016

Fiji's Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, says he won't lay criminal charges against a former Assistant Police Commissioner, Henry Brown, who resigned in January after being sent on leave.

The then Acting Commissioner, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho, had accused Mr Brown of unspecified wrongdoing, describing it as a serious in-house matter.

Mr Pryde said he had advised police that no criminal charges would be filed and that breaches of police procedures were matters to be decided by the Police Commissioner.

Mr Brown was the director of intelligence and investigations, and in charge of the internal investigation into police charged with the rape of Vilikesi Soko in 2014, who died after allegedly being beaten while in police custody.

When he resigned he said there was no natural justice as two of the men accused of raping Mr Soko, Manasa Talala and Viliame Vereivalu, were on the team investigating him.

The two suspects had been reinstated as police officers by Brigadier-General Qiliho.

Last month, he suspended them again after Mr Pryde said it was unacceptable to have them in the force as they represented a real risk of interference with investigations.

Mr Manasa and Mr Vereivalu also face charges of defeating the course of justice by instructing other police officers to make false statements in the Soko case.

A trial is expected to go ahead in September.