23 Oct 2003

Two Fiji police officers convicted of robbery with violence

7:42 am on 23 October 2003

The Suva High Court has convicted two Fiji police officers of robbery with violence.

Tieri Raitinia and Moreti Bula were found guilty of robbing two Chinese nationals in January this year.

Justice Anthony Gates overturned the not guilty verdict of the three assessors in the case and said the testimony of the six state witnesses was truthful and accurate.

Justice Gates said the excuse offered by the officers that they suspected the Chinese couple of being illegal immigrants was not lawful and just an excuse to steal the money.

The officers took the couple in a police vehicle to an isolated spot where they were strip searched and robbed of fifty US dollars.

They will be sentenced today.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says the force will not tolerate such actions and any officers found guilty must face the law.