19 Jan 2007

Wide powers promised for Fiji's planned Corruption Commission

11:14 am on 19 January 2007

Fiji's interim administration will enact legislation soon to set up an Independent Commission against Corruption.

The military commander and interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, says the commission will be a powerful, fully resourced and independent investigative body.

Commodore Bainimarama says the commission will have new and significantly enhanced legal powers of surveillance in order to be able to investigate, arrest, detain and prosecute offenders.

He says to ensure its independence, the commission will report directly to the president and be accountable only to him.

He says no one, nether politicians nor public servants nor anyone else, would be above the anti-corruption laws.

The interim prime minister says for far too long widespread corruption in both the government and the public sector, and among the rich and powerful, has denied ordinary citizens opportunities for fair play and improved standards of living.

Commodore Bainimarama says the interim administration is determined to rid Fiji of corruption and create fair and equal opportunities so all can aspire to an honest and dignified lifestyle.

The Independent Commission against Corruption is part of the military's clean-up campaign promised when the coup took place last month.