8 Oct 2015

Fiji police chief pressures DPP on brutality case

7:10 am on 8 October 2015

Fiji's police commissioner has put pressure on the country's Department of Prosecutions in relation to a controversial police brutality case.

Major General Ben Groenewald has confirmed he is attending a United Nations anti-brutality convention in Costa Rica and says he hopes a result on a police brutality investigation will be completed before he leaves.

A video of security personnel violently beating prison escapees was leaked online two and a half years ago, prompting international condemnation.

Ben Groenewald says the case had been shelved but he reopened it after taking up his job.

He says he hopes the DPP will comment soon.

"We cannot shy away from that and I would be pleased if a decision by the DPP can be taken prior to my departure and it would make my presentation and the acceptance of transparency by the police in Fiji better for the perception of the world, in terms of labelling police in Fiji as brutal police officers."

Ben Groenewald says he plans to talk about the case at the UN meeting in Costa Rica.

Fiji's police commissioner Bernadus Groenewald. Appointed in May 2014.

Fiji police commissioner Ben Groenewald Photo: RNZI/ Sally Round